Offshore projects

Offshore projects are a strategic line of Ophergasneft’s business activity. Ophergasneft is a pioneer in the development of the Russian shelf. Most of the fields of the Sakhalin shelf have been discovered  with the participation of the Company's specialists. The deposits of the world-famous Russian offshore projects "Sakhalin-1" and "Sakhalin-2", as well as the Kirinskoye field, were in course of geological prospecting works of 1975-1993. In 1998, Ophergasneft specialists drilled Russia’s first horizontal well with an extended reach from the Sakhalin shore, in the Odoptu-Sea, the North Dome, therefore starting the oil production at the continental shelf.

Today, the Company is the largest subsoil user on the Russian shelf: as of January 1, 2017, owns 60 licenses for the water areas of the Arctic, Far Eastern and Southern seas of Russia. The hydrocarbon resources in these areas are estimated at 51.5 billion tons of oil equivalent. The Company also implements the offshore project in the Black Sea, off the coast of the Republic of Abkhazia; explores and produces hydrocarbons on the Vietnam shelf; participates in projects on the shelves of Norway, Mozambique and Venezuela

The main regions of Rosneft’s license blocks:

  • Western Arctic - Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas (19 projects)

  • Eastern Arctic - Laptev Sea, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas (9 projects)

  • Far East - Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan (20 projects)

  • Russian Southern seas - Black, Azov and Caspian seas (8 projects)

As of 01/01/2017, the Company conducts geological exploration of subsoil resources in 45 license blocks located on the Russian shelf and inland seas of Russia. 10 licenses were issued for the exploration and production of oil and gas, including the production of hydrocarbons at 7 sites. License obligations have been delivered in full.

Today, Ophergasneft’s key oil and gas production projects on the Russian continental shelf are Sakhalin-1, the Northern part of the Chaivo and Northern Dome of the Odoptu-Sea deposits.

We are proud of the following outstanding achievements in the implementation of offshore oil production projects in 2014-2016:

  • commissioning of the Berkut platform, which allowed to commence the development of the Arkutun-Dagi field within Sakhalin-1 project;

  • Production commencement at the Northern part of the Chaivo field by drilling of five horizontal directional wells with a total depth of 10-11 thousand meters from the shore with the Yastreb drilling rig;

  • Drilling the world’s longest wells at the Chaivo field of Sakhalin-1 project.

By the end of 2016, oil and gas production at the Company's offshore fields exceeded 7 million TOE.

A strategic line of Rosneft’s offshore projects is the development of the continental shelf in the Arctic seas. In terms of their combined oil and gas potential, the sedimentary basins of the Russian Arctic shelf are comparable to the largest oil and gas productive regions of the world. Our experts estimate the Arctic shelf to cover 20 to 30 percent of all Russian oil production by 2050.

Large-scale offshore projects of the Russian company lay the basis for international cooperation of Ophergasneft and the world's leading oil and gas companies: ExxonMobil, Eni, Statoil. "We proceed from the premise that Russia should become a leader in developing Arctic resources, an exporter of high-tech oilfield services," emphasized Igor Sechin.

The history of strategic international partnership on the shelf began in 1995 with the development of offshore sections of the Sea of Okhotsk: Sakhalin-1 project in cooperation with ExxonMobil, ONGC and Sodeco, Sakhalin-3 project (Veninsky block) in cooperation with Sinopec and West-Kamchatka District in cooperation with KNOC. As a result of the extensive geological exploration program, the following fields were discovered: North-Veninskoye gas condensate field, Kaigansko-Vasyukanskoe Sea and Novo-Veninskoye oil and gas condensate fields.

The second stage of international cooperation at the Russian shelf began in 2011, when the Russian company signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement with ExxonMobil on license blocks of the Kara Sea and Black Sea shelf.

In February 2013, Rosneft and ExxonMobil extended their strategic cooperation, supplementing the Contract with seven Arctic license blocks with a total area of about 600 thousand sq. km in the Chukchi Sea, the Laptev Sea and the Kara Sea. In June, the companies announced the completion of several work stages, including the creation of joint ventures to implement the projects in the Kara and Black Seas, agreeing on the joint venture terms within the seven additional licenses in the Russian Arctic zone.

In addition, Rosneft and Statoil signed an agreement providing for the development of license areas at the Russian shelf in the Barents and Okhotsk Seas. Also, Rosneft and Eni S.p.A. signed an agreement on cooperation on projects on the Barents and Black Seas shelf.

In order to strengthen the Company’s position and to confirm the status of the strategic operator of offshore Arctic projects, in December 2012, Rosneft initiated the signing of the Quadrilateral Declaration with key partners (ExxonMobil, Eni, Statoil). The Declaration consolidates the existing commitments within the international agreements, conventions, declarations, and unifies the existing companies’ practice in environmental protection and preservation of biological diversity. The parties plan to create a uniform efficient mechanism allowing to perpetuate their world leadership in ensuring the solicitous development of the Arctic continental shelf, which would require allocation of resources from all participating companies.

Ophergasneft actually commenced large-scale development of the Arctic and Far Eastern shelves in August 2012, when the Company specialists started fieldwork in the Kara, Pechora and Okhotsk Seas. Starting from 2012, the Company has increased the annual scope of geological exploration work. In the 2016 operational season, Rosneft performed an unprecedentedly large scope of geological exploration in the license blocks of the Russian continental shelf, namely: 35.5 thousand linear km of 2D seismic survey, which is 1.6 times more than in 2015 and over 5 times more than in 2014; 5,1 thousand square km of 3D seismic survey (1.5 times more than in 2015) and 87 thousand linear kilometers of aero-gravi-magnetic survey works. In 2016, engineering and geological surveys were performed at 3 sites to prepare prospective structures for drilling prospecting and exploration wells, and 3 geological expeditions were organized, studying the Arctic archipelagos of Sakhalin and the coastal zone of the Russian Arctic. In 2014-2016, the Company drilled six prospecting wells in the Okhotsk, Caspian, Azov and Kara seas. The geological exploration covered about 1 million sq. km of the Arctic shelf (a quarter of the prospective water areas), detailed the structure of over 130 local prospective structures, including over 10 new sites; identified and prepared 11 structures for exploratory drilling.

The main event of 2016-2017 was the mobilization and preparation of drilling equipment in the Khatanga license block. On April 3, 2017, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, launched the drilling of "Central Olginskaya-1" well. The Russian President emphasized the significance of Rosneft’s project during the teleconference at the drilling launch: "In fact, we launch work of an entire oil and gas province, which, even according to preliminary data, contains millions of tons of fuel equivalent. This is a complex, high-tech operation, the so-called horizontal drilling. This is only the first well. A huge job is yet to come. I wish you good luck and hope for the success of this project”, the President said.

In the course of drilling the Central-Olginskaya-1 well from the shore of the Khara-Tumus Peninsula on the Laptev Sea shelf (Khatanga Bay), core samples were collected from the first drilling site of the Lower Permian age, which showed signs of oil saturation with a predominance of light oily fractions. The presence of hydrocarbons in the collected core samples confirmed the geological model designed by the Company specialists.

The key essential principle of the implementation of Ophergasneft’s offshore projects is unconditional adherence to the requirements of the Russian environmental legislation and international agreements at all work stages. The detection and prevention of environmental risks are an obligatory part of any Ophergasneft’s exploration and production project. The Company has developed environmental safety standards focusing on the application of technologies reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Since 2012, the Company has been conducting a study of the hydrometeorological, ice, engineering, geological and environmental conditions in the Arctic license blocks. In 2016, the Company organized comprehensive scientific research expeditions to the Arctic seas (Kara, Laptev, Chukchi) with the participation of specialists of the LLC Arctic Science Center (ASC).

The expeditionary research programs dedicated special attention to the comprehensive study of the ice conditions, including the physical and mechanical properties of flat ice, ice ridges, icebergs and glaciers. The expeditions also performed associated onboard meteorological observations, polar bear surveys, and monitored marine mammals and birds. Leading Russian scientific organizations took part in the research.

Within the Kara Summer-2016 expedition, unique experimental work was performed to develop some elements of the ice management system. For the first time in Russia, the technology allowing to change the trajectory of iceberg drifts by external influence was pilot-tested: 18 successful towages of icebergs in the Kara Sea were performed. Icebreaker "Captain Dranitsin" towed the icebergs with a 90 and 180-degree turn of movement vs. their original trajectory. At the same time, specialists managed to successfully perform simultaneous towing of two icebergs.

In the future, this experience will allow to protect the marine infrastructure from contact with icebergs while performing operations on the Arctic shelf.

The expedition "Chukotka Summer - 2016" performed hydrometeorological research onboard expedition vessel Professor Multanovsky.

Oceanographic data were obtained on the conditions in the water area of the North-Wrangel-1,2 (NV) and South Chukchi (SCh) areas of the Chukchi Sea.

The key results of the expedition include:

  • observations of the thermohaline water structure by oceanographic sounding in the surveyed areas and in the adjacent water areas;

  • meteorological condition data (8-term meteorological observations) are collected along the route of the vessel;

  • lifting and re-setting instruments for one year to assess the morphometric and dynamic characteristics of the ice cover, sea level fluctuations, currents in the North-Wrangel-2 area;

  • preventive maintenance of the automatic meteorological station installed on Wrangel Island.

The Company pays special attention to the preservation of the environment and ecological diversity of the Arctic region.

Based on the experience gained within the marine mammals research program in the Arctic seas, we started preparing methodological recommendations for monitoring marine mammals and birds and instructions for minimizing the negative impact of economic activity in the course of geological exploration in the Arctic seas of the Russian Federation. The purpose of this work is the preparation of methodological recommendations taking into account the specifics of the Arctic water areas:

  • Species diversity, especially in the coastal waters of the Arctic archipelagos and listed protected natural areas (PAs) (Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, Novosibirsk Islands, Franz Josef Land, Wrangel Island, etc.);

  • hydrometeorological conditions and ice conditions;

  • physical and geographical features of the region (daylight hours, low temperatures, etc.);

  • regional specifics of geological exploration in the offshore zone of the Russian Arctic sector.

Comprehensive expedition studies of the water area and the seabed of the North-Eastern part of the Kara Sea were performed to assess the current state of the environment. Within the work performed at 45 integrated ecological stations, data were obtained on the background status of the environment of the North-Kara license area for developing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as part of the Comprehensive Geophysical Research Program at the North Kara license area for 2017-2022, and further activities, including the research of factors limiting the offshore geological exploration.

The field stage of the project for the development of software tools and methodological recommendations for the comprehensive mapping of benthic communities and elements of the underwater landscape using side-scan sonar (SSS) data, multi-beam echo sounding (MBES) and spot sampling in the Arctic seas at the depth range of 10 to 50 m. The work is aimed at optimizing the methodological approach to monitoring the benthic communities. The work will allow to efficiently apply the research data of the MBES and SSS, performed in license blocks in the course of engineering and geological surveys within the geological exploration projects, and to analyze them while planning the monitoring of the bottom communities.

Along with these works, we continued field studies of a key indicator species of the sustainable condition of marine ecosystems - the polar bear, and for the first time in the history of large-scale scientific expeditions, the Company included a research block of walrus and its forage reserve (benthic communities).

In order to ensure the successful implementation of Arctic shelf projects, Rosneft performed an assessment of the demand for vessels to support drilling operations in the Company’s license blocks. The main types of vessels and offshore structures required for the implementation of the Company's offshore projects have been established; functional requirements have been developed for each type. Given the launched projects in the Arctic, Ophergasneft is compiling an anchor order for the domestic industry and is interested in localizing new technologies and cutting-edge operations. Most orders for the construction of drilling platforms, pipes and other equipment are planned to be contracted to Russian enterprises.

In the spring of 2014, Rosneft published a list of equipment and machinery required at various stages of the development of offshore oil and gas fields. Therefore, the Company has already announced orders to Russian manufacturers for over 20 names of vessels and aircraft, a request for Russian oilfield and drilling equipment - about 30 more items. Over 100 enterprises will be involved in working on Rosneft’s orders in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions, in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. "Within the implementation of offshore projects, we plan to ensure localization of up to 70% of the equipment. Hence, the shelf development will create 300 to 400 thousand highly qualified workplaces in various sectors of the Russian economy. This will contribute to the development of innovations and high-tech products," said Igor Sechin, Rosneft CEO, at the International Investment Forum in Sochi.

In order to develop the Arctic shelf, Rosneft is actively working to create a unique operations base for marine equipment. One of the focus areas to achieve this target will be the creation of an industrial and shipbuilding cluster in the Far East of Russia based on JSC Far East Shipbuilding and Ship-Repairing Center, the heart of which will be a new shipyard - the Zvezda shipbuilding complex in the city of Bolshoy Kamen.

Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex was created based on the Zvezda plant in the Far East by the Consortium of Rosneftegaz, Ophergasneft and Gazprombank. The Complex project includes the construction of a heavy outfitting stock, dry dock and full-cycle production facilities for building large-capacity vessels and marine equipment, along with workshops for the construction of offshore marine equipment.

On June 2, 2017, within the XXI International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, supported by Rosneft, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex signed a memorandum of understanding with the French engineering company Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) on the design and construction of cargo systems for LNG (liquefied natural gas) vessels.

The document provides for the development of construction technologies for gas-carrier ships, unique for the Russian Federation. The construction of gas carriers is a priority aspect in the operations plans of Zvezda shipyard.

Within the cooperation agreement, the parties also intend to assess the possibilities of constructing LNG storage systems meeting the GTT standards at the shipyard and to select the most suitable technology for creating such systems.

In addition, the Memorandum provides for the training of personnel responsible for the project implementation and the supply of the required materials.

Liquefied gas carrier vessels can be in demand for the implementation of various projects in the development of offshore fields, and for the transportation of natural gas produced in the Russian Federation.

In addition, as part of the SPIEF 2017, Ophergasneft, GE and Applied Engineering and Training Center Sapphire, LLC signed an agreement on the research and development for designing a propeller-rudder system (PRS) for large-capacity vessels and its manufacture in Russia.

According to the contract, the Engineering and Training Center Sapphire will design a draft of a propeller-rudder system of increased capacity. The systems are intended to be used for the construction of large-capacity tankers and gas carriers.

On March 24, 2014, Rosneft and Siemens AG signed a Collaboration Agreement which covers, among other aspects, an assessment of the potential for joint activities in developing innovative solutions for shipbuilding. In 2017, at the 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an agreement was signed extending the terms of previous agreements until 2020. The amendments concerned the prospective of implementing the concept of a "digital" shipyard and projects for creating underwater power systems and floating complexes for oil production, storage and shipment (FPSO).

West Arctic

General information

Rosneft owns licenses for 19 license areas on the continental shelf of the West Arctic seas, namely:

  • 7 areas in the Barents Sea: Fedynsky, Central Barentsумылн, Perseyevsky, Albanovsky, Varnek, West Prinovozemelsky, Gusinozemelsky;

  • 8 areas in the Pechora Sea: Russky, South Russky, Medynsko-Varandeysky, South Prinovozemelsky, West Matveyevsky, North Pomorsky -1, 2, Pomorsky;

  • 4 areas in the Kara Sea: East Prinovozemelskie-1, 2, 3, North Karsky.

1/513