For decades, huge expectations have been linked with the Fedynsky High, the structure located on the Russian side of the recently delimited waters of the Barents Sea. The structure, which on the Norwegian side of the border is called also the Hjalmar Johansen High, is by several experts believed to be an area, which hides hydrocarbon reserves of elephant proportions. Studies of the area made by Soviet scientists early indicated significant resources, and decades-old semi-secret maps and estimates have since been circulating among Russian oilmen.
The new seimic studies are held as part of the comprehensive cooperation agreement between Rosneft and Eni concluded in April 2012. From Rosneft’s side, the subsidiaries of RN-Shelf-Arktika and RN-Shelf-Dalny Vostok will be instrumental, a company press release says.
According to preliminary data from Rosneft, the Fedynsky area has a total of nine promising structures and a resource potential of as much as 18,7 billion barrels of oil equivalents. A total of 6500 km of 2D mapping is to be conducted by 2017 and another 1000 square km of 3D mapping by 2018. The first well is to be drilled before 2020.
The seismic studies, to be conducted first of all by project partner Eni, will be met by major expectation also among Norwegian oil interests. The Fedynsky High is located along the border to Norway and parts of the resources could well stretch into Norwegian waters.
Eni will also map the Tsentralo-Barentsevsky structure, another area included in the company’s agreement with Rosneft.
On the Norwegian side of the border, seismic studies have been conducted since July 2011, the same month as the new delimitation agreement came into force. After presenting a consequence study of the area in October 2012, the Norwegian government in April this year officially declared the area open to exploration.
A study presented by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) says the Norwegian part of the formerly disputed sea area with Russia most likely contains most gas, but also some oil. The estimates, which are based on two seasons with active seismic mapping, indicate about 1.9 billion b.o.e. of exploitable resources in the area.