Moscow — Russian state-owned oil and gas producer Rosneft said Dec. 9 that it has discovered a large new gas field in the Arctic Kara Sea.
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Rosneft is playing a key role in Russia's Arctic strategy, which aims to capitalize on warming temperatures to transport the remote region's huge oil and gas resources. Development plans are continuing despite concerns over the climate impact, high costs and sanctions on some oil production in the region.
The new gas field is named after Marshal Georgy Zhukov and contains estimated gas reserves of 800 billion cu m. It was discovered during drilling under a program to develop oil and gas production in the region launched in 2014. It is located in the Vikulovskaya structure, part of the East Prinovozemelsky-1 license area, which Rosneft has exploration and production rights on from Nov. 11, 2020 to Nov. 10, 2040.
Drilling of the first well in the program led to discovery of the major Pobeda field, which includes total estimated recoverable reserves of 130 million mt, or around 953 million barrels, of ultra light oil and 422 billion cu m of gas, Rosneft said. ExxonMobil was an early partner on the exploration work, but sanctions against Russia introduced over its role in the conflict in Ukraine forced the US company to exit the project.
"The results of drilling carried out by Rosneft in the Kara Sea have shown the high oil and gas content of these structures, which confirms the discovery of a new Kara offshore oil province. In terms of resources, it may surpass such oil and gas provinces as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil's offshore, the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic offshore, as well as the largest provinces in the Middle East," Rosneft said.
The company added that more than 30 promising structures have been discovered in the three Vostochno-Prinovozemelskiy areas of the Kara Sea.
Rosneft carried out exploration drilling at two license areas in the Kara Sea in 2020.
Vostok Oil plans
In addition to exploration and development in the Kara Sea, Rosneft is developing the major Vostok Oil project in Northern Russia. Containing estimated proven liquid hydrocarbons reserves of 6 billion mt, or 44 billion barrels, it includes the Vankor cluster, Zapadno-Irkinsky block, the Payakhskaya group of fields and the East Taimyr cluster.
Oil produced at the project will be shipped via the Northern Sea Route through Arctic waters to Europe and Asia. Rosneft has committed to deliver up to 30 million mt, equivalent to around 602,465 b/d, of oil via the route by 2024.
Foreign investors are also set to play a role in Rosneft's development plans in Northern Russia. In November Trafigura agreed to take a 10% stake in Vostok Oil and Rosneft has also held talks with other potential international partners on the project.