Russia's Rosneft Discovers Vast New Oil Deposit in Arctic

Russia's Rosneft Discovers Vast New Oil Deposit in Arctic

Russian oil major Rosneft has announced the discovery of a new oil deposit while drilling at Khatanga Bay in the Laptev Sea in the eastern Arctic. The Ministry of Natural Resources says this could be the largest oil deposit on the country’s Arctic shelf.

During the drilling of the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well from the shore of the Khara-Tumus Peninsula on the shelf of the Khatanga Bay of the Laptev Sea, three core samples were taken from depths of 2305 to 2363 m, which showed high oil saturation dominated with light oily fractions,” the company said in a statement.

The potential of the newly-discovered deposit has yet to be verified, the company said.

“On the basis of primary studies, it can be concluded a new oil field has been discovered, the volume of the resource potential of which is increasing as the drilling continues. Core sampling continues at the moment,” a statement from Rosneft said.

Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy congratulated the company on the discovery and said this could be the largest oil deposit in the Russian Arctic.

The drilling comes after Rosneft in August 2016 opened a research base in the area. The base was developed as «a research outpost for development and testing of new technology, technical equipment and materials». Research activities have been conducted on site at that same as the oil drilling.

Rosneft completed preparations for drilling at Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 in record-short time. The company obtained the license in 2015, whereupon extensive seismic mapping was started. Since then, a total of 21,000 meter of seismic studies have been conducted and as many as 114 prospective structures identified. The preliminary resource estimates for the Khatanga license area amount to 9,5 billion tons of oil equivalents, company leader Igor Sechin told President Vladimir Putin in early April.

During summer 2016, two ice-class ships loaded with more than 8,000 tons of equipment and technology, including the drilling rig, made it from Arkhangelsk to the remote Khatanga Bay.

Drilling is conducted horizontally from the shore on depths down to 5,000 meters.

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