Russia agrees far north, Black Sea partnership

Offshore staff

MOSCOW – Rosneft and Eni have signed an Integrated Cooperation Agreement to jointly explore fields in the Russian sectors of the Black and Barents Seas.

The agreement involves an exchange of technology and staff, and could extend to Rosneft’s participation in Eni’s international projects.

Specifically, the two companies will form a joint venture to explore the Fedynsky and Central Barents fields in the Barents Sea and the Western Chernomorsky field in the Black Sea. According to Rosneft, the fields could potentially contain 36 Bboe recoverable.

Eni will have a 33.33% participation in the venture, and will finance geological exploration work to establish the fields’ commercial value.

According to Rosneft, the main driver behind the agreement was the initiative by the Russian Federation to introduce tax incentives for offshore production including cancelling export duties, and to reduce Russia’s Mineral Extraction Tax rate of 5-15%, depending on project complexity.

The government also offered guarantees that the favorable tax regime would remain in place for a prolonged period.

The Fedynsky block covers 38,000 sq km (14,672 sq mi) in the ice-free southern part of the Barents Sea, in water depths ranging from 200-320 m (656-1,050 ft).

Nine promising formations have been identified on 2D seismic holding total potential resources of 18.7 Bboe. Under the license terms, the partners must acquire 6,500 km (4,039 mi) of 2D seismic at the Fedynsky block prior to 2017 and 1,000 sq km (386 sq mi) of 3D seismic by 2018. The first exploration well must be drilled before 2020. If it is successful, a second exploration well should follow by 2025.

The Central Barents block adjoins Fedynsky to the north, and here water depths vary from 160-300 m (525-984 ft). To date seismic studies have identified three prospective formations containing potential recoverable reserves of more than 7 Bboe.

Commitments here include shooting 3,200 km (1,988 mi) of 2D seismic by 2016 and 1,000 sq km of 3D seismic by 2018. The first exploration well must be drilled by 2021, with a second to be drilled by 2026.

As for the Western Chernomorsky block in the Black Sea, this covers 8,600 sq km (3,320 sq mi) in water depths of 600-2,250 m (1,968-7,382 ft).

Rosneft has performed seismic studies of the area which identified six prospective formations with potential resources of 10 Bboe. Two exploration wells must be drilled in 2015-2016.


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