Rosneft, ExxonMobil set arctic rig study

Rosneft and ExxonMobil Corp. selected Vostochniy Offshore Structures Construction Yard (Vostco Yard) to conduct a concept evaluation and feasibility study for a platform designed for arctic drilling in shallow waters of the Kara Sea under their upstream partnership.

Vostco Yard, at Nakhodka on the Sea of Japan, will study the feasibility of using a transportable gravity-base structure able to extend the drilling season by several months. The platform would be able to drill in as much as 200 ft of water with the structure and drilling equipment attached to the seabed, then to be refloated for movement to other sites.

It would have to withstand extreme conditions of ice, wind, waves, and temperatures in Blocks 1, 2, and 3 of the East Prinovozemelsky License. The blocks cover 48,600 sq miles and have water depths of 65-650 ft. The companies said they would use semisubmersible rigs to drill in more than 200 ft of water.

Kvaerner will provide design services for the project in collaboration with Vostco Yard.

The agreement between Rosneft and ExxonMobil also covers work in the Black Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and unconventional resources in North America (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2012).

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