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Russian oil giant Rosneft on Monday launched drilling of Russia’s northernmost offshore well in the East Arctic shelf, with a video conference at which Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of drilling.
“For the first time in history, drilling will be carried out on the Eastern Arctic continental shelf. The resource potential for the Laptev Sea alone, according to experts, reaches 9.5 billion tons of oil equivalent,” Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin said, as quoted by TASS news agency.
Rosneft started drilling the Tsentralno Olginskaya-1 well at the Khatanga license area. In the East Arctic, Rosneft holds licenses for 9 projects, in the Chukchee Sea, East Siberian Sea, and Laptev Sea.
After the Khatanga area drilling, Rosneft will also drill in the Black Sea this year, and in the Barents Sea next year, and will return to drilling in the Kara Sea in 2019, Sechin said during the video conference with Putin.
Speaking to reporters, Sechin said that Rosneft could resume drilling in the Kara Sea in 2019 in partnership with Exxon, TASS reports.
“[Speaking about drilling in the Kara Sea], I was referring to our joint venture in partnership with Exxon. This joint venture operates, all the works are being carried out in compliance with the schedule. In accordance with that plan we are to start the next qualitative stage of work on this province in 2019,” Sechin said, as quoted by TASS.
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Following the U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea, Exxon shelved its plans to take part in the exploration and exploitation of Russia’s Arctic shelf. Exxon was estimated to have lost more than $1 billion from the sanctions.
The sanctions, however, have not discouraged Russia from pursuing its Arctic projects and resource exploration.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.