MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Rosneft plans to set up a supporting land base for offshore projects in the western Arctic as well as several plants in the Murmansk Region, acting Governor of Murmansk Region Marina Kovtun said Monday.
Kovtun reported the prospect of future projects, following a working meeting with the chairman of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, who arrived in Murmansk to personally review the location sites of the Russian oil giant's production facilities.
According to Kovtun, Rosneft plans to use the shore of the Kola Bay not only to set up a support shore base operating on the existing facilities of Shipyard 82, but also production plants for underwater fittings, concrete blocks, a heliport with a total capacity of several dozen aircraft, as well as a logistics, warehousing and trans-shipment base.
She also reported that Rosneft is to establish a Center for Arctic Competencies in a joint effort with the government of the region to facilitate the training of qualified personnel required for the mentioned projects, as an extension to the existing programs at Murmansk State Technical University.
“The Kola Bay and the adjoining shore will be the main base for the development of the Arctic shelf. This will require a large number of qualified staff. We will ensure that all these tasks are fulfilled,” Kovtun said, emphasizing that Rosneft has already secured funding for the implementation of these large-scale projects.
Kovtun stated that the projected supporting shore base at Shipyard 82 will require not only the already available experts of the existing enterprise, but an additional 2,000 new employees. These jobs will be created over the next five years, and almost all the positions will be filled by local residents.
“The large-scale implementation of Rosneft projects creates the environment for economic stability of the entire region. All the adjacent industries will get a powerful development impetus. We understand our responsibility within this project, its importance for the region and the country as a whole,” Sechin noted.
According to him, Rosneft has already begun the actual preparation of exploratory drilling in the Kara Sea. The first exploration well, Universitetskaya-1, will be drilled in the Kara Sea in August.
Currently, Rosneft owns 46 licenses for exploration and production of oil and gas on the shelf of Russian seas with total resources exceeding 42 billion tons of oil equivalent, including 34.6 million tons of oil equivalent on the Arctic shelf. Rosneft plans to develop several sites on the shelf, in cooperation with the United States' ExxonMobil, Italy's Eni and Norway's Statoil.