Rosneft spuds ultra-deepwater well in Black Sea

Russian oil company Rosneft has spudded the Maria-1 exploration well in the Black Sea. Forecasted oil in place for Zapadno-Chernomorskaya licence area is estimated to exceed 570 million tons.

Rosneft pointed out in a statement on Wednesday that drilling preparations included acquisition of more than 4,000 kilometers of 2D seismic and over 3,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data together with integrated geotechnical surveys.

Drilling the first exploration well in the Zapadno-Chernomorskaya license area is part of joint activities with Rosneft’s strategic partner, Eni. Rosneft has a 66.67% in the joint venture and Eni holds the remaining 33.33% interest.

Designed well depth is 6,126 meters with the water depth at the drilling site exceeding 2,000 meters. The well is drilled by Scarabeo-9 semi-submersible rig operated by Saipem.

The rig is equipped with a high-precision dynamic positioning system which ensures constant location of the platform right over the wellhead. Besides, the rig has a dual derrick enabling to drill the well simultaneously with casing and wellhead equipment assembly and running operations. This enables to cut well construction cycle by up to 30%.

The rig is 115 meters high with the deck 80 meters wide. Scarabeo-9 has the deadweight of 31 thousand tons and is capable of drilling up to the depth of 15 kilometers.

The rig has subsea capping system with seven blow-out preventers. Well construction will be controlled by two subsea remotely-operated devices on around the clock basis.

Rosneft Chief Executive Officer, Igor Sechin, said: “The Black sea has significant oil & gas potential, but yet not a single well has been drilled in the deep water Russian offshore. Indicated geological traps are located at the areas with the sea depth exceeding 2,000 km. Currently we assume that the forecasted oil in place for the license area is around 600 million of tons.

“Upon completion of additional works and technical studies the company plans to refine and possibly increase the potential geological resources appraisal. State of the art technologies and equipment in combination with vast experience provided by world leading oil & gas majors and service providers are being employed at the Project. This opens a new phase in the Black sea offshore development in cooperation with our strategic partners.”

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