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Checking out the weather ahead of Kara Sea drilling

The West Alpha rig will in 2014 conduct a historical first drilling in the Kara Sea.

Rosneft is establishing a set of meteorology stations in and around the Kara Sea enabling it to track weather conditions ahead of its upcoming drilling operations in the area.

Location

According to the company, a total of ten stations will be operational in the area in the course of 2014. Three stations are located along the coast of the Novaya Zemlya and were opened in 2013. Another station on the island of Uyedinenie unit is soon to be launched, a press release reads. From before, six meteorological stations are working in the Kara Sea area.

The state-owned oil major is engaging in the meteorological operations as part of its large-scale hydrocarbon development plans in the region. Together with partner ExxonMobil, the company is to drill a first well in the Kara Sea, at the Akademichesky structure, in 2014. “This integrated network of meteorological survey will not only allow us to optimize our exploration works and enhance production efficiency, it also marks the start of a series of extensive scientific and exploration programs on the region”, the company informs.

Rosneft’s new stations come at the same time as Russian authorities are stepping up the development of a weather monitoring system along the country’s Arctic coast. According to Aleksandr Frolov, Head of the Russian state meteorological agency (Rosgidromet), there will soon be a total of 75 operational weather stations along the Russian northern coast, from Murmansk in the west to the Bering Straits in the east. A great number of the stations are originally from the Soviet period, but were left and abandoned in the 1990s. The three most powerful stations will be located in Tiksi, on the island of Hansen and in the Spitsbergen archipelago, Frolov said to RIA Novosti in 2011.

A powerful part of the Russian Arctic monitoring program will be also the country’s new space system Arktika, a 70 billion ruble satellite system specialized on weather surveillance.