Rosneft is stepping up mapping and research in the huge waters of the Kara Sea, a priority area for the company’s oil activities in the Arctic. According to the company, special sensors will soon be placed on all icebergs in the area in order to track the movements of nearby ice.
In addition, vessel radar, satellite and infrared imaging, visual observations and aircraft reconnaissance, will be applied, ExxonMobil informs in a fact sheet about the University-1 operation. The well will be drilled in open waters during the August-October period, with few and minor icebergs expected, the company maintains.
The semi-submersible rig West Alpha is now preparing for the drilling of the first well part of the comprehensive cooperation agreement between Rosneft and ExxonMobil. The operation is estimated to cost as much as $600 million, a historically high price for a single well.
As previously reported by BarentsObserver, the West Alpha on 20th July left the Westcon Yards in southwest Norway and set course for the Kara Sea.
At the same time, a major Arctic research expedition is unfolding in the region. According to Rosneft, the researchers will map a total of ten Arctic licensing areas, among them in the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea and Chukotka Sea. A part of the expedition will also be studying of glaciers at the Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, as well as the volcanic activities at the De Longa islands in the east Arctic, Rosneft informs.