Russians choose Chinese explorers for Arctic oil
While a flotilla of seismic vessels lie idle in nearby Norway, a Russian oil company has hired the China Oilfield Services Ltd (COSL) for its seismic operations in the Barents Sea.
The ship «Hai Yang Shi You 720» this week docked in Kirkenes, the Norwegian border town. It will spend the whole summer in the Russian part of the Barents Sea doing seismic mapping
«This is a good illustration of the increasingly close relationship between Russia and China», Anton Romanov, General Manager of shipping agent Henriksen Shipping Services (HSS) says to the Barents Observer.
According to Romanov, it is the first time that a Chinese vessel of the kind is in the area. The «Hai Yang Shi You 720» will start its operations on 1 May and continue all through summer.
COSL has chosen Kirkenes as its base for the operations and concluded a contract with local shipping agency Henriksen Shipping. The «Hai Yang Shi You 720», as well as several supply vessels, will regularly dock in Kirkenes in the course of the operations.
«We are very happy for the cooperation with COSL», Romanov says. A contract between the companies was concluded in April.
Most likely, the seismic mapping will take place in the license areas controlled by Russian state company Rosneft. COSL is cooperating closely with Rosneft also in the Russian far east, where it this year is expected to drill two wells in the Magadan-1 and Lisyansky areas in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Rosneft has a comprehensive cooperation agreement Norwegian oil major Statoil, which includes both seismic mapping and drilling in the Perseevsky license, a huge area in the northern part of the Barents Sea, as well as license areas in the Sea of Okhotsk.