Rosneft is working on a movable oil platform for the ice season in the Arctic
© Press-service of Rosneft

Rosneft is working on a movable oil platform for the ice season in the Arctic

"Rosneft engineers are working on a project to create a movable gravity drilling rig for oil production in the northern Arctic, including in the ice season," said Director of Rosneft's Shelf Drilling Department Sergey Golyshkov.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil started exploration drilling on the Kara Sea shelf in September 2014. Rosneft has also signed a contract for the creation of a movable gravity rig for offshore drilling in the Arctic within its partnership with ExxonMobil. However, US sanctions forced ExxonMobil to suspend the agreement on strategic cooperation with Rosneft, including the drilling projects in the Kara Sea.

"We have not drilled any wells further north — in the north of the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea — because the open water season is too short. There are no drilling rigs that can work in these conditions," Golyshkov said at the national research and technology conference Relevant Development Issues of the Russian Oil and Gas Sector.

"Rosneft is now working on the so-called gravity drilling rig that can be moved where we need it," the Rosneft official said. "It will be moved from one [oil] drilling area to another, including during the ice season. We are currently at the computation stage," he said.

Golyshkov pointed out that the rig would be able to drill at a depth of between 20 and 60 meters.

Rosneft holds production licenses for 19 oil and gas areas in the western Arctic, including seven license areas in the Barents Sea, eight in the Pechora Sea plus four in the Kara Sea.