Rosneft and Statoil start drilling ops in Sea of Okhotsk (Gallery)

A joint venture between a Russian and Norwegian oil company, Rosneft and Statoil, has started drilling the exploration well in the Sea of Okhotsk.

The Sea of Okhotsk lies south of the Arctic zone boundary and the sea depth on the drilling site is less than 150 m.

The signal to begin drilling was given by the Rosneft Chairman of the Management Board, Igor Sechin.

According to Rosneft, the well, Ulberikanskaya-1, will be drilled at the prospect of the same name in Lisiansky license area, one year ahead of the license obligations. The distance from the port of Magadan to the well is about 420 km.

The joint venture’s second well will be also drilled during the 2016 season within Magadan-1 section in the Sea of Okhotsk, Rosneft added.

The well is being drilled with the semi-submersible rig Nanhai-9, delivered by China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL). The offshore drilling contractor signed the contract for drilling with the joint venture of Rosneft and Statoil in September 2015.

The rig was transported through the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk. To reach the point of drilling, the rig traveled a long way of more than 4600 nautical miles.

Rosneft noted that Nanhai-9 was specially modified for the drilling project in the Sea of Okhotsk. In particular, the rig was prepared to be able to operate at low ambient temperatures, and wind protection was installed on the perimeter of the drilling site.

“Implementation of the offshore projects in upstream is one of the Company’s most important strategic goals, a contribution to the whole oil and gas industry,” Sechin said.

He also added: “We are pleased to commence the key stage of project within the scope of the long-term cooperation with our partner – Statoil – the drilling of exploration wells in the Sea of Okhotsk,”

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