After drilling in 2014, Rosneft President Igor Sechin has left Kara Sea in peace. Photo: Rosneft.ru

Drilling in Kara Sea put on ice

State company Rosneft makes additional postponments in its Arctic drilling program.
November 13, 2015

Drilling in the Kara Sea is postponed ”to a later stage”, Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy said in a conference this week. Most likely, the exploration in the area will resumed only in 2017-2018, he added, Oilcapital.ru reports.

A key reason for the delays are western sanctions which are limiting  access to necessary offshore technology.

Rosneft in 2014 completed a historical drilling operation in the Kara Sea, which lead to the discovery of more than 130 million tons of oil at the University-1 (Pobeda) structure. That operation was part of a comprehensive partnership agreement with U.S company ExxonMobil.

A second drilling operation at the University-1 field was originally to be conducted in 2015.

In addition to the postponements in the drilling program, Rosneft is also behind schedule in its Arctic mapping.

In June this year, Russian state mineral agency Rosnedra granted the oil company more breathing space in seven of its most complex offshore Arctic licenses. The license terms of the Pomorsky, Yuzhno-Prinovozemelsky, Severo-Pomorsky 1 and Severo-Pomorsky 2, as well as the Zapadno-Matveevsky structure, will be up to three years extended, Interfax reported

Rosneft originally applied for a postponement in 10 licenses, the news agency informs.

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