by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Sep 19, 2012
After the government had given a preferential tax treatment to the companies engaged in offshore hydrocarbon field development foreign investors became more active in joining Russian projects. The government-owned company Rosneft became their main partner in the Russian Arctic.
In April 2012 Rosneft and the Italian company Eni signed a strategic cooperation agreement. The agreement provides for establishing a joint venture to develop the Fedynsky and Central Barents blocks in the Barents Sea and the Western Chernomorsky block in the Black Sea. With regard to those blocks Emi's will own a 33.33% stake in the joint venture.
The Fedynsky block, which is 38,000 square meters in size, is located in the ice-free southern portion of the Barents Sea.
Water depths in the area range from 200 to 320 m. 2D seismic survey has shown 9 promising structures within the area with extractable hydrocarbon resources of 18.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. According to the license terms 6,500 km of 2D seismic should be carried out within the Fedynsky block by 2017 and 1,000 square m of 3D seismic by 2018.
One exploration and appraisal well should be drilled by 2020 and, if there is a success, another exploration well by 2025. The Fedynsky block borders on the Central Barents block in the north with the sea depths ranging from 160 to 300 m.
According to previously obtained seismic data the area has 3 promising structures with total recoverable hydrocarbon resources of over 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. 3,200 km of 2D seismic should be carried out within the area by 2016 and 1,000 square m of 3D seismic by 2018.
One exploration well should be drilled by 2021 and, if there is a success, another exploration well by 2026. The block' total recoverable hydrocarbon resources are estimated to be 36 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The high potential of the Barents Sea block is due to fact that they are close to the Norwegian shelf where at least three major oil fields have been discovered during the recent years.
Eni has agreed to finance those geologic exploration activities which will be necessary to confirm the block's commercial viability. The partnership between Rosneft and Eni will involve technologies and staff exchanges which will enhance the company's competence. The agreement also provides for Rosneft's involvement in Eni's international projects.
Norway's Statoil became another partner of Rosneft to develop Arctic offshore fields in Russia. In May 2012 Rosneft and Statoil signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop the offshore blocks in the Russian sectors of the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.
The companies also agreed to work together on Norwegian projects. Thus, Rosneft received the right to participate in the development of blocks located on the Norwegian shelf in the Barents Sea and to acquire stakes in Statoil's international projects.
As regards the development of the Russian Arctic, the agreement provides for a joint venture to be established for developing the Perseyevsky block in the Barents Sea and three blocks - Magadan-1, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky - in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Perseyevsky block is located in the western sector of the Barents Sea which is adjacent to Norway's economic zone.
The area's sea depths range from 120 to 240 m. Within the Magadan-1 block the sea depths range between 100 and 160 m reaching 200 m in the Lisyansky block and 140 to 350 m in the Kashevarovsky block. The four blocks' total prospective recoverable resources are nearly 2 billion tons of oil and 1.8 trillion cubic m of gas. Statoil will own a 33,33% stake in the project.
Under the agreement Statoil will finance the geologic exploration activities. Apart from that, the Norwegian company will reimburse historical expenses incurred by Rosneft within the license areas and 33.3% of expenses incurred acquiring the license. Under the agreement Rosneft may subsequently receive one-off bonuses from Statoil for each commercial discovery of oil and gas reserves.
The agreement between Rosneft and Statoil will stimulate the development of Russia's shipbuilding industry since the parties agreed to place orders for ice-class vessels and drilling platforms with Russian shipyards.
In addition to the Arctic field development Rosneft and Statoil greed to carry out joint research to identify effective approaches to developing deposits with hard-to-recover oil and gas reserves (oil shale deposits at the Khadumsky formation in the Stavropol territory and highly viscous oil located below the gas cap at the Severo-Komsomolsky field in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district). The companies plan to jointly develop the deposits if commercial reserves are discovered.
Source: Voice of Russia
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