Rosneft, ExxonMobil JV begins exploratory drilling in Kara Sea

A joint venture of OAO Rosneft and ExxonMobil Corp. has spudded an exploratory well in the Kara Sea. Drilling is expected to continue for 2 months.

Design depth of the vertical well is 2,350 m from the rotary table. Sea depth is 81 m.

The Universitetskaya-1 is being drilled by the West Alpha rig owned by North Atlantic Drilling of Norway. The rig has an eight-anchor positioning system, two groups of blowout preventers, and a maximum drilling depth of 7 km, Rosneft said.

During extensive preparations, the companies developed an iceberg collision prevention plan.

Rosneft said resources in the Universiteskaya structure total more than 1.3 billion tons of oil equivalent. Universiteskaya is in the East Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area.

“The start of exploratory drilling in the Kara Sea is the most important event of the year for the global oil and gas industry,” said Igor Sechin, Rosneft president. Drilling began during a teleconference involving Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rosneft has 66.67% interest in JV Karmorneftegaz and ExxonMobil has 33.33% (OGJ Online June 21, 2013).

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