Gazpromneft Sakhalin says it has started work preparing to drill an appraisal well in the Pechora Sea.
The firm, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft and project operator for the exploration and development of Dolginskoye field, on the arctic shelf of the Pechora Sea, will use the GSP Saturn jackup drilling rig, owned by Romania's Grup Servicii Petroliere SA (GSP).
Gazpromneft Sakhalin says it plans to drill a well, test promising horizons, and take core samples for laboratory study, at Dolginskoye field during the ice-free months of 2014.
The site will be about 75km from the coast of Russia, and in about 40m water depth.
The GSP Saturn jackup drilling rig was completely renovated in 2009, which included the installation of modern drilling and ship equipment, as well as special preparation for operations in northern latitudes under substantial wind and wave loads and with negative external temperatures.
At present, the GSP Saturn is undergoing a regular planned certification by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a classification society.
The Dolginskoye oil field is in the central part of the Pechora Sea, in 35-55m water depth, 120km south of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, and 110km north of the shore of the Eurasian continent.
It was discovered in 1999. Three exploration wells have been drilled on the field to date, comprising two Severo-Dolginskaya wells in the northern part of the field, and one Yuzhno-Dolginskaya well in the southern part of the field.
Recoverable reserves in the field are estimated at more than 200MM tons of oil equivalent.