Gazprom Neft’s subsidiary, Gazpromneft Sakhalin has been awarded subsoil-use rights to two blocks in the Russian Arctic.
Image from Gazprom Neft.
The first block, the Severo-Zapadniy (North East) block is located on the Pechora Sea shelf; the Heysovskiy block is located on the continental shelf of the Barents Sea.
Gazpromneft Sakhalin says it is analyzing already-available geological and geophysical data to construct a geological model of the region, to identify the most promising structures within these blocks, and to develop a program for further exploration and prospecting activities.
The Severo-Zapadniy block is in about 200m water depth and is located relatively close to Gazprom Neft’s Dolginskoye and Prirazlomnoye fields. According Gazpromneft Sakhalin, a total of 11,500km of 2D seismic operations have thus far been undertaken on the block, with data obtained to a depth of 1.17km for each square kilometer surveyed. The block is 8860sq km in extent, with D1 reserves (Russian classification) estimated at more than 105 million-tonne of oil and gas condensate, together with 60Bcm of gas.
The Heysovskiy block covers an area of 83,600sq km, in about 200-500m water depth. It is located in the northern part of the Barents Sea, west of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, about 1000km from the mainland.
Gazpromneft Sakhalin says the region is characterized by extreme environmental and climatic conditions — the northwest and northeast of the block can remain ice-bound throughout the year, although in certain years the sea does break through. Data on the block is currently limited, with only 8300km of 2D seismic having been conducted to date, with data obtained to a depth of 0.1km for each square kilometer surveyed. While commercial oil and gas reserves are, as yet, unproven, the volume of D2 reserves (Russian classification) is estimated at 140 million-tonne of oil and gas condensate, as well as 2Tcm of gas.
“The Arctic remains a strategic priority for our company. Thus far, Arctic territory has remained under-researched, although we are, step by step, progressing further every year,” says Alexander Dyukov, Gazprom Neft CEO. “Gazprom Neft has continued geological prospecting at the Dolginskoye field throughout 2014, with the first new ‘Arctic oil (ARCO)’ being shipped from the Prirazlomnoye field, Pechora Sea, in April. The experience we have gained in developing these assets will allow us — safely and effectively — to open up the natural resources hidden in the Russian Arctic.”
In November, Gazprom Neft and PetroVietnam began discussions on the cooperation of developing the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea. In a statement, Gazprom Neft said the two companies are expected to sign an operating agreement by May 2015 and outline terms for the creation of a special company for the project.
Four exploratory wells have been drilled at Dolginskoye after the GSP Saturn jackup rig arrived on 18 June 2014. Gazprom Neft said in a statement that drilling operations would occur during the area’s ice-free months to survey geological structures and prepare it for full-scale development. Plans for the Dolginskoye field include to brign it onstream in 2020. The field is estimated to have more than 200 million-tonne of recoverable reserves.
Along with Prirazlomnoye, it is the one of two offshore fields Gazprom Neft operates in the Arctic Shelf.