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

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.

Russia's Gazprom invited China's CNOOC Ltd. to take part in oil exploration offshore Russia, Interfax news agency quoted Gazprom's CEO as saying on Sept. 6, Reuters reported.

In a news release, the companies said they have signed agreements to create a joint venture, called Yermak Neftegaz, to explore in the West Siberian and Yenisey-Khatanga basins in the Russian Federation.

The deal flow appeared even smaller than it was in 2015, as oil companies around the world cut capital investments for the second straight year following a steep fall in oil prices, Reuters said.

According to Natural Resources Ministry data, the Layavozhskoye Field contains 9.8 million tonnes of oil and 140.1 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of natural gas reserves. 

Production

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. 

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Jan. 28 that Saudi Arabia had proposed that oil-producing countries cut oil production by up to 5 percent each in order to support weak oil prices.

Technology

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.

One person was killed and six injured on July 27 in a gas explosion at the Verkhnechonsk Field in eastern Siberia operated by Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, the company said. 

Keppel O&M and Rosneft will have shares of 45% each in the JV, while MHWirth will hold 10% while adhering to existing U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Russia’s offshore sector, Reuters reported.

Vadim Son will become CFO of Volga Gas Plc, the company working in Russia’s Volga region said April 13. Effective that day, Tony Alves resigned as CFO.