TNK-BP to develop giant Russian Arctic oil fields

By OGJ editors

TNK-BP, Russia’s third largest oil company, will accelerate development of five giant oil fields above the Arctic Circle in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region in a deal said to be worth $12 billion.

TNK-BP said it will finish drilling six wells in Russkoe field in 2012 in preparation for full-scale development of all five fields, but the company said it will be 2017 before it starts intensive commercial development at Russkoe.

Oil will be shipped via the Zapolyarnoe-Purpe-Samotlor pipeline, construction of which will enable TNK-BP to begin accelerated development work on all five of its Yamal oil fields: Russkoe, Suzunskoe, Tagulskoe, Russko-Rechenskoe, and Messoyakhskoe (see map, OGJ, June 4, 1990, p. 40).

The company said Russkoe alone has proved, probable, and possible reserves of 2.25 billion bbl, but it said its total reserves and resources in the region under 3P + 3C categorization are an estimated 5 billion bbl.

The five fields are expected to account for as much as 20% of TNK-BP’s oil production by 2021, the company said. Dozens of contractors and suppliers will be involved in the developments.

TNK-BP is owned by BP and the AAR consortium (Alfa Group/Access Industries/Renova) on a parity basis. TNK-BP also owns 50% of the Russian oil and gas company Slavneft. TNK-BP’s share of Russia’s oil production, including its share in Slavneft, is about 16% and its proved reserves were 8.794 billion bbl of oil equivalent at the end of 2010.

TNK-BP in December 2011 signed a long-term contract with OJSC Transneft for the transportation of oil through the Zapolyarye-Purpe pipeline, which is to connect the Yamal-Nenets fields with the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline. TNK-BP said it will be the largest supplier of hydrocarbons to the Zapolyarye-Purpe pipeline.

TNK-BP said it will invest as much as $10 billion in the midterm for the construction of necessary infrastructure at the fields, including the construction of feed pipelines. It said it is the first oil company to sign a contract to move oil through the Zapolyarye-Purpe line.

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