Offshore projects are a strategic business area for Rosneft. Rosneft is a pioneer in development of the Russian shelf. Most fields on the Sakhalin shelf were discovered with participation of the Company's specialists. The fields of the world renowned Russia's offshore projects Sakhalin 1 and Sakhalin 2, and Kirinskoye field as well were discovered as a results of exploration and appraisal activity performed in 1975-1993. In 1998, Rosneft oilmen drilled from onshore Sakhalin the first extended reach well (ERW) in Russia at Odoptu-Sea Field (Northern Dome), thus giving a start to oil production in the continental shelf.
Today, the Company is the largest subsoil user of Russia's shelf: as of 06 June, 2016, Rosneft holds 55 licenses for the blocks of RF continental shelf. Hydrocarbon resources of these blocks are about 43 bln. toe. Тhe Company is also implementing the project in the Black Sea offshore the Republic of Abkhazia, carrying out hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal offshore Vietnam, and participating in the projects on Norwegian shelf.
Rosneft licenses are mainly located in the following areas:
As of the end of 01.06.2016, 44 offshore projects of the Company are in exploration and appraisal, 11 licenses were issued for oil and gas exploration and production; six license blocks are on production. The Company has been fulfilling its entire license obligations related to exploration, and in some of the blocks, the E&A activity is ahead of schedule.
Outstanding achievements in offshore oil production projects in 2014-2015 include:
At year-end 2015, oil and gas production from the Company's offshore fields exceeded 5 mln. toe.
Strategic focus of Rosneft offshore projects is development of the continental shelf of the Arctic Seas. The sedimentary basins of the Russian Arctic shelf are comparable to the world's largest petroleum regions in terms of total oil and gas potential. According to expert estimates, the Arctic shelf will account for 20% to 30% of Russia's total oil production by 2050.
Large-scale offshore projects of the Russian company have formed the basis for international cooperation of Rosneft with the world's leading oil and gas companies – ExxonMobil, Eni, Statoil. «We assume that Russian should become a leader in the development of the Arctic resources, an exporter of hi-tech oil field services» - Igor Sechin stresses.
The history of strategic international offshore partnership goes back to 1995 when offshore blocks development started in the Sea of Okhotsk - Sakhalin 1 project in cooperation with ExxonMobil, ONGC and Sodeco companies, Sakhalin-3 (Veninskiy Block) - in cooperation with Sinopec, Sakhalin 4 and Sakhalin 5 - in cooperation with ВР, and West Kamchatka Block in cooperation with KNOC. Performance of the extensive exploration and appraisal program resulted in discovery of North Veninskiy gas condensate field, and Kaigano-Vasyukansky Sea and Novo Veninskiy oil and gas condensate fields.
The second phase of the international cooperation on the RF shelf started in 2011 when the Russian company signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement with ExxonMobil.
In February 2013, Rosneft and ExxonMobil expanded the strategic cooperation by adding to the Agreement seven license areas in the Arctic, in the Chukchee Sea, Laptev Sea and Kara Sea, with the total acreage of 600, 000 sq. km; and, in June, the companies announced the completion of several phases of activity including the formation of joint ventures to implement projects in the Kara Sea and Black Sea, and agreement of framework of joint ventures activity within the scope of seven additional license in the Russia's Arctic zone.
Additionally, Rosneft and Statoil made an agreement for development of the license blocks on the Russia shelf in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okotsk. Also, Rosneft and Eni S.p.A. signed the agreement on cooperation in offshore projects in the Barents and Black Seas.
In order to strengthen positions and confirm the status of strategic operator of offshore projects in the Arctic, in December 2012, Rosneft initiated the signing of a quadripartite Declaration with the key partners (ExxonMobil, Eni, Statoil). The Declaration fixes existing obligations within the framework of international agreements, conventions, and unifies current practices of the companies in the area of environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity. Unified efficient mechanism is to be developed to enable the parties to strengthen their world leadership in ensuring prudent development of the Arctic continental shelf, which will require allocation of reserves by all participant companies.
Rosneft commenced the large-scale activity to develop the Arctic and Far East shelf in August 2012 when the Company's specialists started field operations in the Kara Sea, Pechora Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. The field operations included a broad range of exploration, hydro-meteorological and environmental studies. As unprecedented large scope of exploration and appraisal activity was performed in Rosneft license blocks on the Russian Federation shelf during the 2012-2015 seasons, including: acquisition of about 94,500 km of 2D seismic, over 26,800 sq. km of 3D seismic, over 225,000 km of airborne gravity and magnetics surveys, 1,750 km of electric exploration surveys, site investigations at 24 sites with the aim to prepare prospective structures for exploration and appraisal drilling, 7 geological field expeditions to investigate Arctic archipelagoes and coastal zones of the Russian Arctic. Over those years, the Company drilled 6 exploration and appraisal wells in the Sea of Okhotsk, Caspian Sea, Azov Sea and Kara Sea. The exploration and appraisal activity covered about 1 mln. sq. km of the Arctic shelf, that is one fourth of prospective water areas, improving subsurface definition of 130 local prospective structures including identification of 10 new prospects and preparation of 11 structures for exploration and appraisal drilling.
The key event of the world oil and gas industry in 2014 was the drilling of Universitetskay 1 well, the northernmost exploration well on the Kara Sea shelf, on the 74th parallel, 250 km off mainland Russia. Exploration drilling in the Kara Sea at Universitetskaya -1 structure confirmed the extension of West Siberian oil and gas bearing structure into the ocean shelf. The first well only allowed the Company to book total original recoverable oil and gas reserves amounting to 130 mmt of oil and 396 bcm of gas. Rosneft discovered a new offshore petroleum province which, according to experts, surpasses such petroleum provinces as the Gulf of Mexico, the shelf of Brazil, the shelf of Alaska and Canada, in the volume of reserves. It is obvious to most experts that the development of the Arctic shelf is one of the most promising areas in oil production, however, the results of drilling at Universitetskaya structure exceeded all expectations. The Head of Rosneft Igor Sechin suggested that a new field be named Pobeda (Victory). Super-lights oil of the Pobeda oil surpasses the reference Brent oil and Siberian Light and WTI, and is comparable to the crude of the White Tiger Field offshore Vietnam.
Rosneft's key principle for offshore projects implementation is unconditional adherence to the requirements of the Russian environmental legislation and international agreements at all stages of operations. Identification and prevention of environmental risks are a mandatory part of every Rosneft upstream project. The Company developed Environmental Safety Standards, the basic aspect of which is the use of technologies reducing an adverse environmental impact.
Since 2012, the Company has been carrying out the studies of hydro meteorological, ice, geotechnical and ecological conditions in the Arctic license blocks. In 2012-2015, the Company jointly with specialists of Arctic Research Center LLC organized integrated research expeditions Kara-Winter-2015, Каrа-Summer-2015 and Chukotka-Summer-2015 to carry out studies in the Arctic seas (the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea and the Chukchee Sea).
The integrated study of ice conditions, including physical and mechanical properties of level ice, ice ridges, icebergs and producing glaciers, was among the focus areas of the research programs. Additionally, the expeditions carried out associated meteorological and ice observations from the ship, biological surveys of polar bears, and marine mammals and birds monitoring. The Russian and world's leading research and design organizations took part in the studies.
Kara-Winter 2015 expedition has become the largest Arctic research expedition in the world in the recent 20 years in terms of the work scope and contents. The ice-breaker Yamal ice-breaker that took part in the expedition traveled from the Barents Sea to the East Siberian Sea, virtually along the entire coastline of the Russian Arctic. During the expedition Kara-Summer-2015 on board the research vessel Viktor Buynitskiy, summer hydro-meteorological works were performed at 7 license blocks in the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and western part of the East Siberian Sea with the use of 16 buoy-based stations for measuring parameters of sea currents and sea swell.
In 2014-2015, large-scale studies of the polar bear population were conducted in the Russian Arctic. The studies included registration of all encounters with polar bears and of their pugmarks, tagging the bears with satellite transmitters to track movements of the animals, obtaining skin biopsy samples by a remote method, non-invasive sampling of biological materials, and installation of self-contained photographic recorders. Analysis of results of immunological, microbiological and molecular genetic studies of all obtained biological samples will allow researchers to establish in future the content and composition of contaminants in polar bears, to assess the health condition of different age and sex groups in different habitats, and to determine family relationship between the studies bears.
During the expedition Chukotka-Summer -2015, the Alaska-Chukotka population of polar bears was studied at the coast of the East Siberian sea and Chukchee Sea (the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Area), and in the territory of the Wrangel Island Reserve.
One of the important achievements of Chukotka-Summer -2015 expedition was installation of an automatic meteorological station at the Wrangel Island, which almost completely restored meteorological observation in the Arctic. The Company currently runs seven modern weather stations in the four seas of the Arctic Ocean. The data obtained at the stations significantly improve the quality of weather forecasting in this region, thus, allowing the optimum scheduling of exploration and appraisal activity.
To ensure successful implementation of projects on the Arctic shelf, Rosneft assessed the demand for supply vessels to support drilling operations in the Company's license areas. Identified were the main types of vessels and marine facilities required to implement offshore projects of the Company. Functional requirements were developed for each type. Due to commencement of the Arctic projects, Rosneft is preparing an anchor order for the Russian industry, and is interested in localization of new technologies and modern production. Most of the orders for construction of drilling rigs, pipes and other equipment are expected to be placed with the Russian manufacturers.
In the spring of 2014, Rosneft published the list of equipment and machinery that will be required at different stages of development of offshore oil and gas fields. Therefore, the Company has already announced to the Russian manufacturers the orders for more than 20 vessels and aircrafts, and a request for Russian oil production and drilling equipment, that is another 30 items. Over 100 manufacturing facilities in the Archangelsk and Murmansk Regions and in Yamalo-Nenetskiy Autonomous Region will be involved in the execution of Rosneft orders. «We have plans to localize up to 70% of the equipment as part of our offshore projects implementation. Thus, offshore field development will help create from 300,000 to 400,000 high-skilled jobs in various sectors of the Russian economy. It is indeed a good way forward for the development of innovations and high technology products», noted the Head of Rosneft Igor Sechin at the International Investment Forum in Sochi.
With a view to develop the Arctic shelf, Rosneft makes active efforts to create a unique production base for marine facilities. One of the areas of activity to fulfill this objective is setting up a production and shipbuilding cluster on the basis of Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center (FESRC) with the core plant - Zvezda Shipyard in the town of Bolshoy Kamen.
Zvezda Shipyard is primarily focused on meeting the needs of the Russian oil and gas and shipping companies. The united center for placing orders for building marine vessels and facilities for offshore project implementation was set up on the basis of Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center. The Pilot Scope of Work for the shipyard will be provided by Rosneft that has an exclusive agreement with FESRC regarding placement of all the orders for manufacturing of new marine equipment and vessels at its facilities, as well as contracts for design, construction and supply of two reinforced ice-class multi-functional support vessels. New vessels of about 100 m long will be able to operate in extremely harsh environments of Rosneft offshore projects in the northern seas. Another two supply vessels will be constructed additionally. The 100-m high-tech vessels are designed to operate in harsh conditions of the northern seas. The long-term production program of Zvezda Shipbuilding Cluster foresees the construction of over 150 vessels and marine facilities.
Rosneft uses its best endeavors to implement the shipyard construction project. With a view to ensure brand new shipbuilding and marine equipment construction technologies, the Company engages the types of equipment which have not been previously used at Russian shipyards. During the visit of Igor Sechin to China, on March 18, 2016 Zvezda and China Heavy Industry Corporation Nantong (CHIC) signed the contract, under which CHIC is to supply equipment with unique characteristics to the construction site of Zvezda shipyard in 2016-2017 — a 1200 t Goliath crane, four 320 t cranes and four 100 t cranes. In addition, FESRC and Suzhou Dafang Special Vehicle Co. Ltd have signed a contract for the supply of five self-propelled heavy transporters.
On March 24, 2016, Rosneft and Siemens signed the Agreement on Cooperation that, inter alia, provides for assessment of the potential for joint activities in the field on innovative solutions for shipbuilding. This refers to potential implementation of the concept of a "digital" shipyard, and projects to create submarine power systems and floating production, storage and off-loading facilities (FPSO).
Rosneft holds licenses for 19 license blocks of the West Artic continental shelf. The blocks include:
The Map of Rosneft License Blocks in the West Arctic Seas
According to the reserves audit as 01.01.2016 performed by DeGolyer and MacNaughton, total recoverable oil and gas resources of the blocks are estimated at 18.4 bln. toe, not including resources of Gusinozemelsky area estimated by Rosneft to be 356 mm toe.
A total of five fields were discovered within the above license areas (Pobeda field in the Kara Sea, Severo-Gulyaevskoye, Medynskoye Sea, Varandey Sea, and Pomorskoye fields in the Pechora Sea). As of January 1, 2015, total recoverable С1+С2 reserves of the said fields amounted to:
On the shelf of the Barents Sea, Pechora Sea and Kara Sea, the Company performed 70,000 km of airborne gravity and magnetics surveys, acquired over 47,700 km of 2D seismic and about 15,100 sq. km of 3D seismic, carried out 11 site surveys for exploration and appraisal drilling, and organized 3 geological expeditions over the period from 2012 tо 2015.
In 2014, in Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky 1 Block in the Kara Sea, the northernmost Arctic well Universitetskaya 1 was drilled at 74° degrees of Northern latitude in the record-short time during the summer field season. The well confirmed the presence of hydrocarbon accumulations in the prospective petroleum basin. Universitetskaya 1 well discovered the oil and gas field Pobeda.
Rosneft has been fulfilling the license obligations related the West Arctic Offshore licenses ahead of schedule, significantly exceeding the required scopes of work.
Rosneft holds licenses for eight blocks on the shelf of the East Arctic Seas that were obtained in 2013-2015. The blocks include:
According to the reserves audit as 01.01.2015 performed by DeGolyer and MacNaughton, total recoverable oil and gas resources of the blocks are estimated at 12.7 bln. toe, not including resources of Vostochno-Sibirsky-1,Khatangsky and Pritaymyrsky license areas estimated by Rosneft to be 3.1 bln. toe.
Rosneft License Blocks in the West Arctic Seas
A huge volume of integrated geological exploration was performed during the 2014-2015 field seasons, in particular:
On the continental shelf of the Okhotsk Sea in the Far East Federal District, Rosneft participates in Sakhalin 1 project to develop Chayvo, Odoptu Sea and Arkutun Dagi fields under PSA terms, and jointly with its subsidiaries holds 17 more licenses, in particular:
According to the reserves audit as 01.01.2016 performed by DeGolyer and MacNaughton, total recoverable oil and gas resources of the blocks are estimated at more than 3.8 bln. toe, not including resources of Amur-Limansky, Central-Tatarskiy, Bogatinsky license areas estimated by Rosneft to be 944 mln. toe.
With account for Rosneft stake in the fields of Sakhalin 1 project and in Severo-Veninsky field, as of 01.01.2015, total recoverable С1+С2 reserves of the fields discovered in the licenses amount to:
In addition to the above-mentioned offshore project Sakhalin 1 where Rosneft participates together with ExxonMobil, a consortium of Japanese companies Sodeco and Indian National Petroleum Company, Rosneft, jointly with Sinopec, implements the project to develop Severo-Veninsky field, and jointly with Statoil carries out the projects to develop Маgadan 1, Lisyansky and Kashevsrovsky license blocks on the shelf in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Other license areas on the shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk are developed independently by the Company.
The Map of Rosneft License Blocks in the Sea of Okhotsk
Exploration and appraisal activity carried out by the Company on the shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk can be divided into two time periods: the first period - from 1996 to 2011; and, the second period - from 2012 to 2015. During the first period, exploration and appraisal activity was focused on the blocks offshore the Sakhalin island under the projects Sakhalin 1, Sakhalin 3 (Veninsky Block), Sakhalin 4 and Sakhalin 5, Lebedinsky and at Zapadno-Kamchatsky blocks in the north of the Sea of Okhotsk. The work scope performed over the said period included: over 24,5000 km of 2D seismic and over 14,200 sq. km of 3D seismic was acquired, about 700 km of electrical exploration was performed, a total of 19 E&A wells were drilled and three fields were discovered, including Kaigano-Vasyukansky Sea in 2006, and Novo Veninsky and Severo-Veninsky fields in 2009.
Over the second period from 2012 tо 2015, Rosneft obtained new licenses for five blocks of continental shelf in the north of the Sea of Okhotsk (Маgadan-1, 2, 3, Kashevarovsky, Lisyansky) and three blocks off the Sakhalin Island (Vostochno-Pribrezhny, Amur-Limansky, Deryuginsky blocks). The license for the Central Tatarsky block on the shelf of the Sea of Japan was obtained in 2016.
At that period of time, Rosneft significantly increased the volumes of exploration and appraisal activity in the license blocks. Over the four years, the Company acquired over 16,300 km of 2D seismic, over 3,500 sq. km of 3D seismic, carried out over 1.700 km of electrical exploration, engineering surveys at four 4 sites at prospective areas to select exploration well locations, and drilled three exploration and appraisal wells. Seismic operations were carried out mainly in the license blocks of the Magadan shelf ahead of license commitments. Based on exploration results, the exploration drilling can be commenced targeting prospective structures at the license blocks of the continental shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk.
In 2011, Rosneft obtained a license for hydrocarbon exploration and production at the "Northern Tip of Chayvo Field" license block located within the shallow part of the North-eastern shelf of Sakhalin. Initial reserves of the field amounted to over 5 mmt of oil and about 13 bcm of gas.
In May 2014, Rosneft launched a large-scale project to drill the first development well at the license block including Chayvo Northern Tip, and from September 2014, Rosneft started bringing the license area into operation. The reservoir simulation model considers the use of innovative horizontal drilling technologies and technologies for onshore development of the field. The operations have been conducted using Yastreb, a unique drilling rig. It is planned to put in place a pad of five oil wells and three gas wells at the onshore drilling site to ensure full-scale development of the Northern Tip of Chayvo.
The construction was completed and production from two wells started at the end of 2014. In 2015, the third exploration well was drilled and the drilling of the fourth exploration well started.
In November 2015, Rosneft produced its two-millionth ton of oil since the start of the field development. The 2015 total oil production from the field was 1.925 mmt.
The crude produced at the field is SOKOL crude of a premium quality. The crude has very low sulfur content of 0.25% and the density of 0.825-0.826 kg/m3 (36.8 degrees API). Since November 2014, all produced oil is off-loaded to oil tankers from De-Kastri terminal in the Khabarovsk Territory to be shipped to the countries of the Asian-Pacific Region. Associated petroleum gas is sold domestically to consumers in the Far East.
Rosneft holds licenses for seven offshore blocks in the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Azov Sea: for Temryuksko-Akhtarsky block and Novoye field in the Sea of Azov, for Severo-Kaspiysky block and Zapadno-Rakushechnoye field in the Caspian Sea, and for Tuapse trough, Zapadno-Chernomorsky area and Yuzhno-Chernomorsky block on the shelf of the Black Sea, and Gudautskiy License area in Abkhazia sector of the Black Sea. According to the reserves audit performed by DeGolyer&MacNaughton company as of 01.01.2016, total recoverable hydrocarbon resources of the offshore blocks in the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Azov Sea are estimated at about 3.6 bln. toe.
Offshore development projects in the Black Sea are the main investment projects of Rosneft on the shelf of the Russian Southern Seas. The blocks have huge resource potential; however, their exploration requires significant investments due to the large depths (to 2.2 km) and the use of special equipment resistant to sea water with high content of hydrogen sulphide. In the license blocks of the Black Sea, Rosneft has completed a large volume of exploration and appraisal work both independently and jointly with its partners, ExxonMobil and Eni, in particular:
The E&A activity resulted in discovering several tens of prospects, and geological engineering surveys were conducted in the six largest prospective structures to select well locations. Rosneft is currently making preparations for exploration drilling.
The Map of Rosneft License Blocks in the South of Russia
Since 2003, Rosneft has been carrying out exploration and appraisal activity at Temryuksko-Akhtarsky license block in the Sea of Azov jointly with Lukoil. Since the license issuance to date the following studies have been conducted: 2,649 km of 2D seismic acquired, 1,356 km of electric exploration carried out, and three exploration wells have been drilled (in 2007, 2009 and 2015). Based on the exploration results, the Novoye field with recoverable oil and gas reserves amounting to 2.4 mmt and 0.9 bcm respectively was discovered. The license for the development of Novoye field was granted in 2013. 3D seismic operations (60 sq. km) were carried out in the fields in 2014.
In 2007, Rosneft acquired a 49,892% stake in the project to develop Severo-Kaspiysky license area. The following scope of exploration and appraisal work has been completed at the block to date: acquisition of over 5, 000 km of 2D seismic, over 100 sq. km of 3D seismic, and 882 km of electric exploration. Engineering site surveys were carried out at the prospective structures, and three exploration wells were drilled (in 2008, 2010 and 2014). The exploration well targeting Zapadno-Rakushechnaya structure discovered Zapadno-Rakushechnoye oil field with recoverable C1 + C2 oil and gas reserves amounting to 11 mm t and 0.6 bcm respectively. The license for development of Zapadno-Rakushechnoye field was obtained in 2013.