Kara Sea oilmen report to Kremlin

Rosneft launches Kara Sea drilling together with US and Norwegian partners.

The oil resources of the Kara Sea are comparable with the ones of Saudi Arabia, Rosneft’s Igor Sechin told President Putin in a televised call from the company’s first Kara drillsite.


In the presence of leaders of ExxonMobil and the Norwegian North-Atlantic Drilling, Sechin reported to the president about the launch of the drilling operation at the University-1, the company’s historical well in the Kara Sea.

According to Sechin, the oil resources of the Kara Sea exceed the ones of the Bay of Mexico, Brasilian shelf, Alaska and northern Canada and can be compared with the resources of Saudi Arabia.

We are ready to explore the offshore extension of the western Siberian oil resources and intend to open a new Kara oil province, Sechin told the president in a televised call.

The University-1 well is located 74 degrees north, about 160 km east of the Novaya Zemlya and 250 km north of the Russian mainland. ”Nobody else are working at these altitudes”, Sechin said. ”One year ago, nobody though this operation would be possible. But today we are starting drilling”, he underlined.

As previously reported, the operation is conducted with the West Alpha, a rig owned by North-Atlantic Drilling, the Norway-listed company controlled by Seadrill. The rig, which never before has operated in Arctic waters, has been hired by Rosneft for a two-year period.

The University-1 operation is part of the comprehensive Arctic cooperation between Rosneft and ExxonMobil.

”This [operation] has become possible thanks to the joint efforts of Rosneft and Exxon Mobil. Our experiences show that it is practically impossible, or at least very difficult, to develop these kind of projects alone”, Putin said in the call with Sechin. ”Today, commercial success depends on international cooperation”, he added.

”We are happy to see pragmatism and common sense prevail, even despite the current difficult political conjuncture”, Putin stressed.