The agreements support implementation of the companies’ August 2011 long-term strategic cooperation agreement (OGJ Online, Aug. 30, 2011).
The two companies agreed to expand and expedite joint efforts to develop oil reserves in tight, low-permeability formations in Western Siberia using advanced technologies that ExxonMobil has successfully employed in North America.
The agreement establishes a pilot program to determine the technical feasibility of developing the reserves and is an extension of a technical research program that Rosneft and ExxonMobil signed in April 2012.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil will soon approve a work program for selected Rosneft license blocks that will include geological studies and drilling of Upper Jurassic Bazhenov and Lower Cretaceous Achimov reservoirs (OGJ, May 22, 2000, p. 38). Drilling is to begin in 2013.
ExxonMobil will finance the geological studies and exploratory drilling. Participating interests in a potential development phase will be Rosneft 66.67% and ExxonMobil 33.33%.
Rosneft said the companies will look at new geographical regions of operation and study the potential of difficult to produce reserves in traditional oil producing regions. A highly promising area is the Yuganskneftegaz Region. Development of these reservoirs will require a combination of state-of-the-art technologies, expertise in developing tight reservoirs, and appropriate fiscal terms, which the government of Russia started preparing this year, Rosneft noted.
ExxonMobil will contribute its technology leadership in tight oil and unconventional resource development, and Rosneft brings direct knowledge and experience of Western Siberia’s geology and conventional production.
The other agreement will enable ExxonMobil to join the new Arctic Research Center, which will provide a full range of services to support all stages of oil and gas development on the Arctic shelf, including ice monitoring and management, design of ice resistant offshore vessels, structures and Arctic pipelines, logistics, and safety.