Statoil, Rosneft to explore Barents, Okhotsk, land blocks

By OGJ editors

Statoil and Rosneft will establish Arctic joint ventures on four blocks in the central Russian Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk offshore Russia and Norway.

The partners will jointly explore the Perseevsky license in the Russian part of the Central Barents Sea and the Kashevarovsky, Lisyansky, and Magadan-1 licenses in the Sea of Okhotsk north of Sakhalin Island. The four frontier licenses total more than 100,000 sq km or about 200 Norwegian Continental Shelf blocks.

Statoil will hold 33.33% in each of the joint ventures. Statoil will fund the initial exploration necessary to determine the commercial value of the four licenses. The cooperation agreement also provides Rosneft with an opportunity to acquire interests in selected Statoil exploration licenses and assets in the North Sea and the Norwegian Barents Sea.

The companies will also conduct joint technical studies on two onshore Russian assets. At nonproducing North Komsomolskoye field in Western Siberia, Statoil can contribute with experience and competence from both Brazil and the NCS. At the shale oil play in the Stavropol area in southwestern Russia, Statoil will apply its experience with unconventional US reservoirs to benefit a proven, unappraised play.

The companies also agreed on a program to exchange and further develop technology and competence relevant for Arctic offshore and unconventional exploration and production.

Statoil noted that all of the licenses offer access to large areas of potentially prospective frontier acreage with a phased exploration work program in each license. At the outset, the overall license obligations are comprised of 2D seismic and six exploratory wells for the four frontier exploration blocks. In case of success more wells will be drilled.

The Perseevsky license covers 23,000 sq km in 150-250 m of water 350 km from Barents Island. The work program calls for 5,500 line-km of 2D seismic to be shot by 2016, 1,000 sq km of 3D seismic to be shot by 2018, and a first exploratory well to be drilled by 2020.

The three Sea of Okhotsk licenses total 79,000 sq km in 70-350 m of water where the ice-free period is from July to December. On Kashevarovsky 2,000 line-km of 2D is to be shot from 2014 to 2016 and an exploratory well drilled by 2019. On Lisyansky 2,000 line-km of 2D is to be shot from 2014 to 2018 and a well drilled by 2017. On Magadan-1 1,000 line-km of 2D is to be shot by 2014 and a well drilled by 2016.

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