Russia’s two biggest oil companies are showing more interest in the Taymyr Peninsula.
Both Lukoil and Rosneft intend to drill their first wells in the region in 2017. While the former will explore its East Taymyr license, a land area on the north-eastern part of the peninsula, the latter will drill in the waters of the Khatanga Bay.
Up until now, the Taymyr Peninsula has been largely untouched by oilmen. That could change.
Lukoil representative Ilya Mandrik in a conference in Moscow this week confirmed that the drilling in the East Taymyr license is due to take place in the last quarter of 2017. In addition, a total of 2,421 kilometers of 2D seismic mapping will be conducted. Up to 1,000 kilometers was mapped already this year. About 200 men and 130 pieces of machinery have been on site during summer to prepare the ground for enhanced activity, the company says.
The project will be developed mostly in wintertime and in order to inflict minimal damage to the vulnerable ecosystem, a press release says.
The 13,800-square-kilometer license area is located north of the 74th parallel.
“We see the East-Taymyr license as a development opportunity for Lukoil in a new region,” said company President Vagit Alekperov when signing a cooperation agreement with regional authorities earlier this year.
The license to the East-Taymyr was hard-won. Lukoil acquired the field in fierce competition with Rosneft. The state-owned company subsequently sued Lukoil over the deal, but failed to get the court’s support.
Rosneft intended to secure control both of the East Taymyr land areas and adjacent waters of the Khatanga Bay and Laptev Sea. Instead, the company was left only with the offshore part.
Rosneft is also in full swing with preparations for drilling in the area. A first well is planned drilled in the shallow waters of the Khatanga Bay in 2017. The company this summer established a research base in the area, which is to engage in “testing of new technology, technical equipment and materials.”
The new base is now equipped with housing blocks and laboratory accessories. It will also include a meteorological station and three underwater buoy stations.
Rosneft also engaged in developing other fields in Taymyr. Earlier this month, the company struck a deal with BP over joint exploration in the Yenesey-Khatanga basin. A first joint well is to be drilled already in the course of winter 2016-2017. It will take place in the Baykalovskoye field, a license located about 80 km north of Dudinka.