Igor Sechin is in charge of Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft. Photo: Rosneft

Igor Sechin's great move of North Siberian oil towards Arctic coast is taking shape

Rosneft gets ready to start building ports and pipelines from the Vankor oil fields to the Taymyr Peninsula as part of its Vostok Oil project.
January 15, 2021

The state-owned company has placed a tender on engineering services in the North Siberian Vankor area. Included in the arrangement is project documentation on the building of mooring points on the western and eastern sides of river Yenisey and the development of “a reserve pipeline” to existing pipe infrastructure in the area, newspaper Kommersant informs.

Time pressure

Igor Sechin and his Rosneft is under major pressure to forge ahead with the project that already in 2024 is to deliver 30 million tons. The powerful company leader has on several occasions promised his friend and long-term ally Vladimir Putin that the Vostok Oil will help the President reach his ambitious targets for the Northern Sea Route.

The Vankor and Payakha areas are of big importance for the Vostok Oil. Photo of project presentation: Atle Staalesen

In a meeting between the two men in late November 2020, Sechin assured Putin that the new Arctic project will produce 30 million tons of oil by 2024. And it will all be sent northwards to a projected terminal in Taymyr Peninsula and from there exported on the Northern Sea Route.

The Vostok Oil project is now of paramount importance for Putin to reach his much-desired 80 million tons of goods on the Northern Sea Route in 2024, as outlined in his so-called May Decrees from 2018.

Transneft

The Vankor fields are currently connected with a south-bound pipeline managed by state oil pipeline company Transneft. As soon as Rosneft completes its new pipeline and re-directs the Vankor oil towards Taymyr, Transneft will lose up to four percent of the oil it currently handles, Kommersant writes.

The Vankor fields in 2020 produced about 11 million tons. The fields are managed by Rosneft in cooperation with Indian partners.

Huge project

It is one of the biggest oil projects in Russia ever. The Vostok Oil includes about 100 drilling rigs that will be erected on the Taymyr tundra and a 770 km long oil pipeline to bring the vast volumes to a new major Sever terminal on the coast of the Kara Sea.

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By 2025, at least 30 million tons is to be exported by the project. Two years later, in 2027, production will amount to 50 million tons and in 2030 - as much as 115 million, Sechin told Putin.

Payakha

Resources are based on 15 fields in the Taymyr region, among them the Vankor resources. In the estimates are also the resources of the Payakha fields, as well as the East Taymyr cluster where Rosneft cooperates with BP.

Rosneft has over the past months consolidated its control over the Vostok Oil assets, including the Payakha resources. It has also struck a deal with Singapore-based oil trader Trafigura  that is reported to have acquired a 10 percent stake in the project.

 

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