Exclusives

Gazprom Neft, Arctic, Russia, Prirazlomnoye

Despite much of the upstream industry’s Arctic ambitions being in deep freeze, Russia has been quietly operating its handful of producing projects with little fuss.

Russia, IHS CERAWeek, oil, production, JKX Oil & Gas, OMZ, Thane Gustafson

Despite the downturn and sanctions, Russia has grown production but there are signs of fragility in the energy sector, panelists say.

“Russia is increasingly looking east and the various deals made between Rosneft and China are likely to see more Russian crude head to China permanently,” an analyst told Bloomberg.

The company plans to more than double its oil and gas production from overseas fields in four years.

Russia relies on companies including ExxonMobil, BP, Halliburton and Schlumberger for the latest technology and expertise.

Deepwater International

Oil is now flowing from the last of three shallow water but very harsh environment fields developed by ExxonMobil in the sub-Arctic Sakhalin area off the east coast of Russia.

Exploration

Russia as well as other non-OPEC and OPEC producers have agreed to slash output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to fight global oversupply.

​Russian energy company Gazprom and Austrian oil and gas group OMV reached an outline deal on Dec. 14 to swap a 38.5% stake in OMV’s Norwegian unit for a 25% stake in a section of Gazprom’s Urengoy gas field.

The two neighboring countries have already signed a deal to exchange older seismic data from the border zone, Reuters said.

Rustem Khamitov, president of Russia's internal Republic of Bashkortostan, said on Oct. 21 it was unlikely that Russian oil major Rosneft will offer to buy its 25% stake in Bashneft, Reuters reported.

In 2015, the U.S. restricted exports, reexports and transfers of technology and equipment to the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye Field, which is part of the wider Kirinskoye deposit, Reuters reported.

Production

Reuters reported that Lukoil values the Pyakyakhinskoye Field's reserves at 86 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate, as well as 253 billion cubic meters of gas, as measured by Russian standards.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Oct. 21 an oil production freeze agreement was necessary to prop up prices and that he would make proposals to his Saudi Arabian counterpart this weekend.

Austria's OMV currently has a 20% stake in the license but has entered into a deal to sell its stake to Norway's state-owned Petoro, Reuters reported.

At Messoyakha, GazpromNeft is also using a network of complicated horizontal wells with a structure that resembles fish bones, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that the increased output in September might not be sustained throughout the month. 

Technology

Rosneft had been under pressure to secure a sale of the 19.5% stake to help replenish state coffers, hit by an economic slowdown driven by weak oil prices and exacerbated by sanctions.

Under the current plan, Rosneft is due to buy the 19.5% stake itself so the proceeds can fund the budget before the end of the year. Rosneft would then resell the shares to investors in the first quarter of 2017.

The helicopter was carrying employees of a contractor from oil major Rosneft’s Suzun oil field, part of the Vankor deposit, Russia’s northernmost onshore oil production project.

The sale is a part of a government privatization drive aimed at narrowing the state budget deficit.

There is a risk it might not happen, given that anxiety about relinquishing state control over strategic assets--and the interests of oligarchs--often win over prudent fiscal measures in Russia, Reuters reported.