Gazprom boosts offshore reserves

Gazprom must intensify Arctic exploration if it is to withstand competition from Rosneft.

Under increasing pressure from competitors and the authorities, the Russian gas major is stepping up exploration and drilling in Arctic waters.


According to the company, a total of four wells were drilled and 3000 square km of 3D seismic mapping was conducted in the years 2011-2012 resulting in an increase in offshore reserves with more than 200 million tons of oil equivalents.

The exploration was conducted in the waters surrounding the Yamal Peninsula, the Tazov Bay, as well as in the west Kamchatka and Sakhalin parts of the Okhotsk Sea, a press release informs.

In 2013, the company plans to drill another two wells in Sakhalin waters and finally, after years of delay, start production at the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea.

As previously reported, the Prirazlomnaya platform has been lying idle in the Pechora Sea since August 2011, when it, obviously prematurely, was tugged from a yard in Murmansk

Discussing offshore activities in a board meeting last week, the company leadership also reiterated its intention to work for the development of the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea, as well as to prepare the ground for production at the Severo-Kamennomysskoye and Kamennomyskoye fields in the Tazov and Ob Bays. At the same time, the company is applying for an additional 20 offshore licenses, several of which are located in waters desired also by Rosneft.

On 3 May, PM Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree which grants Gazprom four of the requested new licenses — to the Demidovsky, Medvezhii, Fersmanovsky and Ledovoye structures in the Barents Sea

As previously reported by BarentsObserver, Gazprom is under increasing pressure from both Rosneft and Novatek, both of which want a piece of the gas monopoly’s lucrative market. Rosneft President Igor Sechin is actively squeezing Gazprom in Arctic waters and is on his way to secure control over the most resource-rich parts of the Russian shelf. According to Sechin, his company already holds Arctic offshore gas reserves of up to 21 trillion cubic meters. Together with Novatek, Sechin is also openly challenging Gazprom’s gas export monopoly

The Russian Arctic shelf is beleived to hold more than 100 billion tons of oil equivalents, of which 80 percent is likely to be gas.