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Offshore projects

One of the main strategic areas for the development of Rosneft is the development of the hydrocarbon resources on the continental shelf. Today, when almost all major onshore oil and gas fields are discovered and developed, and when technologies and shale oil production are rapidly developing, the fact that the future of world oil production is located on the continental shelf of the World Ocean is undeniable. The Russian shelf has the largest area in the world: over 6 million km, and Rosneft is the largest holder of licenses for the continental shelf of the Russian Federation.

As of 01.01.2019, Rosneft holds 55 licenses for areas in the Arctic, Far Eastern and Southern seas of Russia. The hydrocarbon resources in these areas are estimated at 41 billion tons of oil equivalent. The Company is also implementing a project in the Black Sea off the coast of the Republic of Abkhazia, exploring and producing hydrocarbons on the shelf of Vietnam and Egypt, and participating in projects on the shelf of Mozambique and Venezuela.

Rosneft's licensed areas are located in:

As of 01.07.2019, the Company is carrying out geological surveying at 45 licensed sites located on the Russian shelf and inland seas. 10 licenses have been issued for oil and gas exploration and production, including 7 licenses for crude hydrocarbons production. License obligations are delivered in full.

Today, the main oil and gas production projects on the continental shelf of the Russian Federation for Rosneft are Sakhalin-1, the Northern tip of the Chaivo field and the Odoptu-more Northern Dome and Lebedinskoye fields.

The main achievements in the implementation of offshore projects:

  • The total cumulative volume of oil shipped from the De-Kastri terminal from the Sakhalin-1 and North Chaivo projects in 2018 exceeded 100 million tons;
  • Drilling five horizontal directional wells with a borehole length of 10,000-11,000 meters at the northern tip of the Chaivo field with the Yastreb drilling rig from the shore;
  • Drilling the longest wells in the world at the Chaivo field of the Sakhalin-1 project;
  • The shortest possible time to mobilize and prepare for drilling the Tsentralno-Olginskaya exploration well due to the climatic limitations in the Khatangsky license area.

By the end of 2018, the Company's share of hydrocarbon production at offshore fields was almost 9 mln tons of oil equivalent.

Rosneft's offshore projects are strategically focused on the development of the continental shelf of the Arctic seas. In terms of their combined oil and gas potential, the sedimentary basins of the Russian Arctic shelf are comparable to the largest oil and gas productive regions of the world. Our experts estimate the Arctic shelf to cover 20 to 30 percent of all Russian oil production by 2050.

Rosneft gave a practical start to large-scale development of the Arctic and Far Eastern shelf in August 2012, when the Company began fieldwork in the Kara, Pechora and Okhotsk Seas. Over the period from 2012 to 2018 Rosneft performed an unprecedented amount of seismic work. More than 170,000 linear kilometers of 2D seismic exploration work was carried out on the Arctic and Far Eastern license areas, including 144,000 linear kilometers on the Arctic shelf and 26,800 linear kilometers on the Far East shelf.

In 2012-2018, 29,500 square kilometers of 3D seismic exploration work was carried out to clarify the geological structure of prospective structures and to plan exploratory drilling on selected structures on licensed areas of the Arctic and Far Eastern shelf. As a result of the geological exploration work, more than 450 local prospective structures were identified and detailed. In 2012-2018, the Company drilled 7 exploration wells on the Arctic and Far East shelf and discovered 2 new fields.

In the southern seas, in 2012-2018, the Company carried out 3,800 linear km of 2D seismic work, 3,500 sq km of 3D seismic works and drilled 3 wells.

On April 3 2017, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, launched the drilling of the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well.

Drilling of the well confirmed the oil and gas bearing capacity of the Laptev Sea and discovered the Tsentralno-Olginskoye field with recoverable reserves (C1+C2 categories) of over 80 million tons of oil. The construction of well -1 was completed on May 1 2018.

In March 2018, Rosneft completed drilling of the first ultra-deep-water well, Maria-1, at the West Black Sea area on the Black Sea shelf. The well construction was completed on 15 March 2018.

At the moment, the drilling results are being analyzed, which will help to clarify the geological model of the Black Sea shelf and to plan the continuation of prospecting and exploration work in the licensed areas of the Company.

The key principle of the implementation of Rosneft’s offshore projects is unconditional adherence to the requirements of the Russian environmental legislation and international agreements at all work stages, observing all norms of environmental and industrial safety. During the period of sea operations, constant monitoring of marine animals was carried out.

The detection and prevention of environmental risks are an obligatory part of any Rosneft’s exploration and production project. The Company has developed environmental safety standards focusing on the application of technologies reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Since 2012, the Company has been conducting a study of the hydrometeorological, ice, engineering, geological and environmental conditions in the Arctic license blocks. In 2018, the Company, with the participation of experts from LLC Arctic Science Centre (ASC, part of Rosneft's corporate research and design complex) organized comprehensive research expeditions, during which research was carried out in the Arctic seas (the Kara, Laptev and Chukchi seas).

Special attention in the expedition research programs was paid to a comprehensive study of the ice situation in the areas of the planned operations. A large volume of information on hydrometeorological and ice regimes in the area of iceberg producing glaciers was collected and generalized, observations of iceberg drift and studies of mechanical properties of sea ice were made. The expeditions also performed associated onboard meteorological observations, polar bear surveys, and monitored marine mammals and birds.

Following the results of the 19th Arctic research expedition Kara Summer 2018, recommendations were given on conducting expeditionary work to develop elements of the ice situation management system (ISMS) in the water area of the southwestern part of the Kara Sea. The conducted research showed that the use of unmanned aircraft (UA) both for aerial surveying in the water area of the work, and for the placement of responder buoys on potentially dangerous ice formations, allows to exclude expensive services in using ice surveying airplanes and helicopters. In addition, the use of UA eliminates risks to the personnel when placing buoys on icebergs. The results of the research will provide planning of the resources and ISMS means, the organization of their work and interaction during the elimination of threats from dangerous ice formations.

In October 2018, field studies of the sea ice strength properties began. The ice explorers began to work at the Laptev Sea training grounds, including those based on the Khastyr scientific support base, which has been in operation since 2016. Changes in ice properties over the entire period of its existence will be studied using a single method for the four landfills located in the Laptev, Okhotsk and Japanese Seas. All types of annual sea ice (thin, medium, thick, sprawling) will be investigated simultaneously, which is unique for domestic ice studies.  The obtained dependencies will make it possible to determine the annual volatility in the strength properties of ice in the calculation of loads on offshore oil and gas facilities.

The expedition carried out prevention actions to protect the hydrometeorological equipment previously installed in the Kara Sea - automatic meteorological and submerged autonomous buoy stations.

The set of the activities carried out during the expedition allowed the specialists of Rosneft to obtain the unique experience and competencies necessary to ensure the safety of geological exploration on the shelf of the Arctic seas.

Since the summer season of 2016, year-round monitoring of the natural and climatic conditions in the Khatanga Bay area continues, to collect primary data and develop a methodology for recalculating the strength properties of sea ice in different periods of its formation.

The Company pays special attention to the preservation of the environment and ecological diversity of the Arctic region. In 2018, the two-year research on headcount and distribution of polar bears in the area of responsibility of Rosneft in the Kara Sea was completed.

In addition, ASC experts completed work on the development of methods for geocryological mapping of the Arctic shelf and the construction of digital maps of the geocryological zoning of the Kara and Laptev Seas.  The initial stage included systematization of actual materials and development of scientific-methodical approaches to extrapolation of actual data to the mapped area; development of structure and filling the list of available literature and stock sources. As a result of the research work, the methodology of geocryological mapping at a scale of 1:2,500,000 was developed, a computer database of distribution and conditions of occurrence of subaquatic permafrost rocks was created, a map of the geocryological zoning of the Kara Sea shelf and the Laptev Sea at a scale of 1:2,500,000 and an explanatory note to it were drawn up. The main areas of further research of the cryolithic zone of the Russian Arctic seas shelf were formulated.

Work is underway to study and monitor marine mammals in the Black Sea. In 2018, the Company analyzed stock data, including the Company's data, the first field stage (marine expedition), and summarized the information on whale stranding on the Krasnodar and Crimean coasts.  In 2019, the Company plans to carry out aerial census of cetaceans and another marine expedition.

Work continues on the formation of the Database of Natural and Climatic Parameters of the Arctic Shelf and the maintenance of the Arctic Seas Atlas.

In order to ensure the successful implementation of Arctic shelf projects, Rosneft performed an assessment of the demand for vessels to support drilling operations in the Company’s license areas. The main types of vessels and offshore structures required for the implementation of the Company's offshore projects have been established. Functional requirements have been developed for each type. Given the launched projects in the Arctic, Rosneft is compiling an anchor order for the domestic industry and is interested in localizing new technologies and cutting-edge operations. Most orders for the construction of drilling platforms, pipes and other equipment are planned to be contracted to Russian enterprises.

In the spring of 2014, Rosneft published a list of equipment and machinery required at various stages of the development of offshore oil and gas fields. Therefore, the Company has already announced orders to Russian manufacturers for over 20 names of vessels and aircraft, a request for Russian oilfield and drilling equipment - about 30 more items. Over 100 enterprises will be involved in working on Rosneft’s orders in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions, as well as in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

In order to develop the Arctic shelf, Rosneft is actively working to create a unique operations base for marine equipment. One of the focus areas to achieve this target will be the creation of an industrial and shipbuilding cluster in the Far East of Russia based on JSC Far East Shipbuilding and Ship-Repairing Center, the heart of which will be a new shipyard - the Zvezda shipbuilding complex in the city of Bolshoy Kamen.

Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex was created based on the Zvezda plant in the Far East by the Consortium of Rosneftegaz, Rosneft and Gazprombank. The project of the complex involves the construction of a heavy fitting dock, dry dock and full-cycle production facilities. The Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex will produce large-capacity vessels, elements of offshore platforms, ice-class vessels, special purpose vessels and other types of marine equipment.

In September 2017, at SSK Zvezda LLC, the ceremony of laying down four multifunctional supply vessels of the reinforced ice class was held. The vessels will be commissioned in 2019-2020 and will provide offshore drilling operations in the Arctic licensed sites of the company. Rosnefteflot LLC will be the operator of the vessels.

In October 2017, Rosnefteflot JSC, a subsidiary of NK Rosneft, entered into agreements with SSK Zvezda LLC for the construction of ten Arctic shuttle tankers with a deadweight of 42 thou. tons each. The reinforced ice class ARC7 tankers are intended for operation in the 1.8 m thick ice with the ambient temperature of -45°C.

On September 11 2018, in the presence of the President of the Russian Federation, the first Aframax class tanker was laid on the Zvezda slipway. Now, Zvezda produces and assembles the sections of the first three ships. The first Aframax will be launched in 2020.

The project will contribute to the development of the shipbuilding and industrial cluster and the localization of marine equipment production in the Russian Far East, ensuring the possibility of designing Arctic shuttle tankers in the Russian Federation, forming an optimal order portfolio for the full-scale operation of the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex.

Within the XXI International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, supported by Rosneft, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex signed a memorandum of understanding with the French engineering company Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) on the design and construction of cargo systems for LNG (liquefied natural gas) vessels.

Liquefied gas carrier vessels can be in demand for the implementation of various projects in the development of offshore fields, and for the transportation of natural gas produced in the Russian Federation.

West Arctic

General information

Rosneft owns licenses for 19 licensed areas on the continental shelf of the West Arctic seas.

    • 7 areas in the Barents Sea: Fedynsky, Central Barentsу, Perseyevsky, Albanovsky, Varnek, West Prinovozemelsky, and Gusinozemelsky;
    • 8 areas in the Pechora Sea: Russky, South Russky, South Prinovozemelsky, West Matveyevsky, North Pomorsky -1, 2, Pomorsky, and Medynsko-Varandeysky;
    • 4 areas in the Kara Sea: East Prinovozemelskie-1, 2, 3, and North Karsky.

Map of Rosneft’s license blocks in the Western Arctic seas

The total recoverable oil and gas resources of the blocks as of December 01, 2019, as assessed by DeGoeller and McNaughton, are estimated at 16 billion TOE.

Five fields were discovered in the territory of the license blocks (Pobeda in the Kara Sea, North-Gulyaevskoye, Medynskoye-Sea, Varandey-Sea and Pomorskoye in the Pechora Sea). As of 01.01.2019, the total recoverable C1 + C2 reserves in these fields in Rosneft’s share amount to:

  • oil + condensate: 247 million tons
  • gas: 501 billion m3

Over the period from 2012 to 2018, the Company carried out 70,000 linear kilometres of airborne gravity and magnetic exploration, more than 70,000 linear kilometres of 2D seismic exploration, and approximately 24,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic survey, conducted engineering and geological surveys at 15 sites for drilling of exploration and prospecting wells, conducted 3 geological expeditions. In order to monitor the environmental situation, the Company annually inspects the mouths of early drilled wells in the Pechora, Barents, and Kara Seas.

In 2014, the Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky-1 license area saw the drilling of Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea, which confirmed the presence of hydrocarbon deposits in the promising oil and gas region. Drilling of the well resulted in discovery of the Pobeda oil and gas field with recoverable reserves (category C1+C2) of 396 billion cubic meters of free gas and 130 million tons of oil.

Rosneft fulfils its license obligations at the licensed areas of the Western Arctic shelf ahead of schedule and significantly exceeds the scope of work under the licenses.

East Arctic

General information

Rosneft holds licenses for 9 areas on the continental shelf of the Eastern Arctic seas:

  • 5 areas in the Laptev Sea - Ust-Olenek, Ust-Lensk, Anisin-Novosibirsk, Khatanga and Pritaymyrsky;
  • 1 area in the East Siberian Sea - East Siberian-1;
  • 3 areas in the Chukchi Sea - North-Vrangel-1, 2 and South Chukchi.

According to the results of the audit carried out by DeGolyer and McNaughton, as of 01.01.2019, the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Arctic shelf areas amount to more than 13.7 billion tons of oil equivalent, excluding the resources of the East Siberian-1 area, estimated by Rosneft at 4.6 billion tons of oil equivalent.

Over the period from 2012 to 2018, the Company carried out 225,000 linear kilometres of airborne gravity and magnetic exploration work, more than 73,000 line kilometres of 2D seismic work, and 7 geological expeditions.

In December 2015, Rosneft obtained a license to develop the Khatanga field located in the Khatanga Bay in the South-West of the Laptev Sea, in the North of Krasnoyarsk Territory. On April 3 2017, the Company started and, on 1 May 2018, completed the construction of the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 exploration well.

Drilling of the well confirmed the oil and gas bearing capacity of the Laptev Sea and discovered the Tsentralno-Olginskoye field with recoverable reserves (C1+C2 categories) of over 80 million tons of oil.

Map of Rosneft’s license blocks in the Eastern Arctic seas

Russian Far East

General information

On the continental shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan in the Far Eastern Federal District, Rosneft is a participant in the Sakhalin-1 project for the development of the Chaivo, Odoptu-more, and Arkutun-Dagi fields and, together with its subsidiaries and joint ventures, holds 17 more licenses for the area, namely:

  • 12 areas on the Sakhalin Island shelf: the Northern Dome of the Odoptu-Sea Deposit, the Northern part of the Chaivo Field, Lebedinsky Oil and Gas Condensate Field, Kaigansko-Vasyukanskoe Sea field, Deriuginsky, Astrakhanovskoye Sea - Nekrasovsky, North Veninskoye Gas Condensate Field, East Pribrezhny, Amur-Limansky, East Kayganskoe field, Central Tatarsky, Bogatinsky;
  • 5 areas on the Primagadan shelf: Magadan-1,2,3, Lisyansky, Kashevarovsky.

The recovered hydrocarbon resources on the Sea of Okhotsk shelf, as of 01.01.2019, as assessed by DeGolyer and McNaughton, amount to over 1.7 billion TOE, which does not include the resources of the Amur-Limansky, Bogatinsky and Central- Tatarsky fields, estimated by Rosneft at 651 million TOE.

8 fields were discovered on the territory of the sites (Lebedinskoye, Odoptu-more Northern Dome, Chaivo, Arkutun-Dagi, Odoptu-more, Kaigansko-Vasyukanskoe, Severo-Veninskoye, Vostochno-Kaiganskoye).

The recoverable reserves in the Rosneft’s share amount to:

104 million tons of oil and condensate and 151.5 billion m3 of gas.

Map of Rosneft’s license blocks in the Sea of Okhotsk

The Company’s exploration and appraisal on the shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk can be divided into two periods: the first from 1996 to 2011, and the second from 2012 to 2017. During the first period, geological exploration was performed mainly on the shelf areas off Sakhalin Island for the Sakhalin-1, Sakhalin-3 (Veninsky block), Sakhalin-4 and Sakhalin-5, Lebedinsky and West- Kamchatsky area in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Over this period, 12,500 linear kilometers of 2D seismic work, 4,100 square kilometers of 3D seismic work, 700 linear kilometers of electrical work was carried out, 9 exploration wells were drilled and 3 fields were discovered: Kaigansko-Vasyukanskoe Sea in 2006, Severo-Veninskoe in 2009, Lebedinskoe in 2011.

During the second period from 2012 to 2017, Rosneft obtained new licenses for 5 areas of continental shelf in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk (Magadan-1, 2, 3, Kashevarovskiy, Lisyanskiy) and 7 plots near Sakhalin Island (Vostochno-Priberezhniy, Amur-Limanskiy, Deryuginskiy, Bogatinskiy, Lebedinskiy, Kaigansko-Vasyukanskoye and Severo-Veninskoye fields).  In 2016, a license was obtained for the Central-Tatar shelf area of the Sea of Japan.

During this period, Rosneft significantly increased the scope of seismic exploration in the license areas. Over the period of 7 years, about 27,000 linear kilometers of 2D seismic work was completed, more than 5,700 square kilometers of 3D seismic work was completed, more than 1,700 linear kilometers of electrical exploration work was carried out, engineering and geological surveys were carried out at three sites of promising areas to determine the drilling points of exploration wells, and 5 exploration wells were drilled. A significant amount of geological exploration work was carried out in the licensed areas of the Magadan shelf ahead of the terms established by the license obligations.

Northern part of Chaivo field

General information

In 2011, Rosneft obtained a license for geological survey, exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the license area "Northern part of the Chaivo Field", which is located within the shallow part of the northeastern shelf of Sakhalin Island. Initial recoverable reserves of oil and condensate at the field are over 14 million tons; gas reserves are over 20 billion cubic meters.

In May 2014, Rosneft launched a large-scale project to develop the Northern Chaivo oil reserves. The North Chaivo project uses an innovative technology to drill horizontal wells from the shore with record vertical waste using the unique Yastreb drilling rig.

At the end of 2014, construction of a temporary tie-in was completed and production from the first two wells began. In 2015, a third production well was drilled and put under production, and the drilling of a fourth production well commenced. In 2016, with the schedule moved forward, the fourth and fifth oil wells were commissioned, their measured depth being 10496 m and 11163 m, respectively.

The wells with large vertical departure at the northern tip of the Chaivo field are unique in their complexity. The wells are equipped with high-tech completion systems with flow control devices to limit gas breakthroughs and ensure maximum accumulated production.

Actual oil and condensate production in 2018 was 0.74 million tons, and the total volume of gas supplied to consumers was 0.09 billion cubic meters. By February 2018, Rosneft had produced six million tons of oil at the northern tip of the Chaivo field since the start of the project.

The oil produced in the field is of the SOKOL brand and is of excellent quality. The oil has a very low sulfur content of 0.25% and a density of 0.825-0.826 kg/m3 (36.8 degrees API). All oil produced is shipped by oil tankers from the DeKastri terminal in Khabarovsk Territory to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The associated petroleum gas is sold in the domestic market to consumers in the Far East.

Lebedinskoye field

Oil has been produced at the Lebedinskoye field (shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk) since 2014. Operator: RN-Sakhalinmorneftegaz LLC Production is carried out using four development wells. The oil produced at the Lebedinskoye field is of approximately the same quality as SOKOL.

Actual oil production in 2018 at the field amounted to 0.27 million tons, gas production to 0.09 billion cubic meters.

In 2018, the Company carried out work to adjust the boundaries of the Lebedinsky area, which resulted in an increase in the resource base of the field. In 2018, the Lebedinskoye - Odoptu-more oil pipeline was commissioned.

Odoptu-more field (Northern Dome)

The Odoptu-more (Northern Dome) field is the first offshore production project in Russia. Oil production started in 1998 The field operator of oil and gas production is LLC RN-Sakhalinmorneftegaz.

Oil production is carried out by horizontal wells drilled from onshore sites. 40 development wells with significant deviation from the vertical (up to 5-8 km) were drilled. As of 01.01.2019, the existing well stock includes 28 oil production wells and 7 injection wells.

Actual oil production in 2018 was 0.38 million tons and gas production was 0.14 billion cubic meters.

South Region

General information

Rosneft owns licenses for 7 areas in the Russian waters of the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas: the Temryuk-Akhtar area and the Novoye deposit in the Azov Sea, the North Caspian section and the West Rakushechnoe deposit in the Caspian Sea, the Tuapse Trough, the West Black Sea and the South Black Sea areas on the Black Sea shelf. In addition, the Company owns a license for the Gudautsky area in the Abkhazian sector of the Black Sea

The resource potential of the areas is estimated at 3.4 billion tons of oil and condensate and 61.5 billion cubic meters of gas, excluding the resources of the West Black Sea area, the resources of which Rosneft estimates to be more than 500 million tons of oil.

The recoverable reserves in the Rosneft’s share amount to:

  • oil + condensate: 7.2 million ton
  • gas: 1.6 billion m3

Over 2012-2018, the company carried out more than 3,800 linear km of 2D seismic work, about 8,300 sq km of 3D seismic work, engineering and geological surveys on 11 sites, drilled 3 wells and organized three field geological expeditions on the adjacent land.

Rosneft's main investment projects on the shelf of Russia's southern seas are projects to develop licensed areas of the Black Sea. These sites have a huge resource potential, however, the search and exploration of oil and gas in their bowels require significant investment due to the sea bottom depth (down to 2.2 km) and the requirement for special equipment resistant to seawater with high content of hydrogen sulfide. In March 2018, the first ultra deep water well, Maria-1, was drilled in the West Black Sea license area. The well construction was completed on 15 March 2018. At the moment, the drilling results are being analyzed, which will help to clarify the geological model of the Black Sea shelf and to plan the continuation of prospecting and exploration work in the licensed areas of the Company.

Planned exploration work is also underway in the Company's areas in the Caspian and Azov Seas, including research and seismic work and preparation for exploration drilling.

The Novoye field project is at the development stage on the Azov Sea shelf.

Novoye field

Based on the results of geological exploration work carried out at the Temryuksko-Akhtarsky license area in the Azov Sea in 2007, the Novoye field was discovered with recoverable reserves of 2.4 million tons of oil and 0.9 billion cubic meters of gas. In 2013, a license was obtained to develop the Novoye field.

The production in the Novoye field commenced in September 2016 from the reopened exploration well Novaya-1. The accumulated oil production since the beginning of development as of 01.01.2019 is 71.9 thousand tons (the Company's share is 36.8 thousand tons), gas production is 106.8 million cubic meters (the Company's share is 54.6 million cubic meters).

Map of Rosneft’s license blocks in the Southern Region