Rosneft launches exploration drilling in Taimyr
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Rosneft launches exploration drilling in Taimyr

May 13, 2020

The head of the largest domestic oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, presented to president Putin a mega-project for the development of the north of Russia and the Arctic under the Vostok Oil name.

As part of this project, Rosneft began drilling a prospecting and appraisal well at the West-Irkinskoye field. The project implementation may lead to the independent oil and gas province appearing in Taimyr.

West-Irkinskoye license area is located 400 km north of the Arctic Circle on the right bank of the Yenisei. The closest town to it is Dudinka, 140 km south of the site. According to the Rosneft report, the drilling equipment and materials were transported along the Northern Sea Route from Arkhangelsk. About 10 thousand tons of cargo were delivered by the start of drilling.

The design depth of the well will be 4 200 meters. Drilling is carried out by the unique Taimyr-001 drilling rig of the echelon type, with a carrying capacity of 450 tons. The unit is designed to operate in the Far North, at temperatures up to –50 °C and wind up to 33 m/s. The entire Vostok Oil project combines several fields: the Vankor cluster, the Payakhskoye field, and the West-Irkinskoye site. But their development is a problem due to the harsh climate, great remoteness and lack of infrastructure. Rosneft will have to build all infrastructure facilities in Taimyr.

“The large-scale work is ahead. We understand what has to be done. We have already signed an agreement with Inter RAO on the basic principles of a turnkey contract for the construction of 2.5 thousand megawatts of electric power generation and over five thousand kilometers of electric grid facilities”, Interfax quotes the representative of the company.

The list of infrastructure which has to be created includes 2 000 kilometers of trunk pipelines and about 7 000 interfield pipelines, oil preparation and storage parks, heliports. In total, it is planned to create 15 towns and about 100 thousand jobs during the project implementation. One of the key facilities will be North Bay, the largest seaport in the Arctic zone. The North Bay oil terminal is to be put into operation in 2024.

The total resource potential of Vostok Oil is more than 5 billion tons of light low-sulfur oil, better in quality than Brent oil. The potential supply to the commodity markets is estimated at 20 million tons in 2024, 50 million tons – in 2027 and up to 115 million tons – by 2030. The geographic location of the project allows transporting oil along the Northern Sea Route to both fast-growing Asian markets and traditional European ones.

Vostok Oil is a powerful generator of economic growth in Russia. The expected economic effect, according to the Institute for Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is 9.3 rubles for each ruble invested. The implementation of the project will give an additional 2% increase in GDP annually, the Rosneft press service reports. Vostok Oil will provide a significant share of freight traffic along the Northern Sea Route. More than 100 million tons of hydrocarbons per year produced at the project’s fields will be transported by ice-class tankers; these vessels are being built at the first in Russia Zvezda heavy civil shipyard in Primorsky region.

Text: Olga Polyanskaya, Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov

May 13, 2020

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