Future of Russian Arctic
In 2012, Russia will begin seismic exploration on the Arctic shelf of the Barents sea. Norway, which had claimed part of the deposit sites has agreed. This was announced at the 10th International conference of RAOCIS Offshore in St. Petersburg.
More than 500 leading specialists in the oil sector from 20 different countries are taking part in the conference. They include the chiefs of Norway’s Statoil ASA, the French Total and the American Exxon Mobile company, all of which are partners of the Russian Gazprom in the development of huge gas deposits at Stockman. All aspects of the problem of exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas reserves on the Russian shelf are being examined in St. Petersburg. Also being discussed is the delivery of oil and gas from regions along the freezing seas, as well as new technologies of oil extraction. According to experts, the Barents sea has over 7 billion tons of oil, and the potential output is 20 million tons of oil per year, says Anatoly Dmitriyevsky, Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of the problems of oil and gas.
“Now, Russia has serious and real chances of prospecting the arctic shelf and we welcome the participation of foreign companies. The Northern Arctic ocean is extremely rich in oil and gas; it is 5 times richer in oil and gas than the Pacific ocean, 1.5 times than the Indian ocean and 1.8 times than the Atlantic ocean. The Northern Arctic ocean is a unique source of natural resources, but has harsh conditions, and hence the difficult extraction of oil requires highly innovative technology”, Dmitriyevsky said.
Ice-resistant technical platforms for the extraction of crude oil, refining and transportation of gas from Stockman deposits to Teribersky bay, where a port is to be built, as well as a plant for the production of liquefied gas, will soon start to function at the Stockman deposit sites.
Participants in the St. Petersburg conference were told about Russia’s latest achievement in the technology of the development of the shelf. It is the ice-proof stationary platform “Prirazlomnaya” built on the Pechorsky sea, the first of its kind to be designed and constructed in Russia. Unique in its ability to drill wells and to produce oil, it has a capacity of holding a hundred thousand tons of crude oil temporarily, before discharging it into a tanker.