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In spite of challenges that include a sub-Arctic environment, Russia is successfully developing its offshore resources.
Activities on Russian’s continental shelf from the Caspian Sea to the Barents Sea to the Sea of Okhotsk are a priority for OAO Gazprom that is primarily justified by the need for developing Russia’s resource base, said Vsevolod Tcherepanov, member of Gazprom’s Management Committee and head of the Gas, Gas Condensate, and Oil Production Department.
Speaking at a topical breakfast at OTC 2012 on May 1, Tcherepanov detailed “Gazprom Activities on the Continental Shelf: Challenges and Achievements.”
Russia’s continental shelf encompasses 6.6 million sq km (2.59 million sq miles) with about 4.2 million sq km (1.62 million sq miles) prospective for oil and gas.
Natural gas accounts for 80% of Russia’s total offshore resource. The estimated resource is about 6.3 trillion cubic meters (Tcm), or 224 Tcf.
However, Tcherepanov cautioned, there are a number of challenges. “First and foremost are climatic conditions that include low temperatures and seasonal variations,” he said.
The underlying principle for Gazprom’s business is sustainable development, he noted. “Our activity on the shelf has already resulted in considerable success.”
Some of the largest gas projects in the world are in Russian waters. The Sakhalin development off eastern Russia is world class.
“Sakhalin II is the world’s largest development of an oil and gas field in the harsh, sub-Arctic environment,” he said.
Sakhalin III, which will be the next phase, will include the Kirinsky, Ayashsky, and Vostochno-Odoptinsky blocks as well as the Kirinskoye field. Reserves are estimated at 130 Bcm (4.6 Tcf) of gas and 15 million tons (104 million barrels) of gas condensate.
The project will produce about 4.25 Bcm (150 Bcf) of gas annually from an underwater production facility. Construction and installation are currently under way, he added.
The Yamal mega-project on the shelf has a number of promising fields, he explained. The region has estimated gas reserves of 1.8 Tcm (63.5 Tcf) as well as 20 million tons of gas liquids (about 138 million bbl).
Western Kamchatka is another area of interest to Gazprom with 1.6 Tcm (56.5 Tcf) of natural gas and 50 million tons (346 million bbl) of oil.
Gazprom is working with Lukoil and KazMunaiGaz on the Tsentralnoye field in the Caspian Sea.
The Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea was discovered in 1989 in water depths of about 20 m (66 ft). Reserves are estimated at 75 million tons (519 million bbl) of oil. “Oil production will be launched in 2012,” Tcherepanov emphasized.
The field will be developed with an ice-resistant, stationary platform. The platform will be able to process 6.6 million tons (45.7 million bbl) per year. Oil from the platform will be offloaded to two shuttle tankers. The facility can be used for year-round export, he said.
Presently, the platform has been installed in the field and construction continues on the onshore infrastructure, he continued.
The Shtokman field in the central part of the Barents Sea contains about 3.9 Tcm (137 Tcf) of gas. Gazprom is now considering an LNG-only project to develop the field.
Gazprom is also has operations in countries around the world. The company is currently implementing a project in Vietnam. It has a 25-year oil and gas contract on Block 112 and 30-year agreements on Blocks 129, 130, 131, and 132.
Resources on Block 112 are estimated at 330 Bcm (1.16 Tcf). “We are currently drilling a delineation well on the Bao Vang field to define the field structure,” Tcherepanov said.
On Blocks 129-132, resources are estimated at 700 million bbl of liquids (434 billion bbl) and 900 Bcm (3.17 Tcf) of gas. A geological program has been conducted and prospects identified. “In 2013, we plan to start drilling an exploratory well,” he said.
Gazprom signed a development contract on April 5 for the Moc Tinh and Hai Thach fields on Blocks 05.2 and 05.3. The gas and condensate fields are in water depths from 100 m to 135 m (330 ft to 445 ft). The hydrocarbon treating facility is nearing completion and production is expected to start in 3Q 2012.
Contact the author, Scott Weeden, at email@example.com.