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Home / Issue Archive / 2008 / April #4 / Russian Offshore Development Costs Over 60 Trln Rubles

№ 4 (April 2008)

Russian Offshore Development Costs Over 60 Trln Rubles

Russian oil major Rosneft said more than RUB 60 trln (>2.55 trln USD) is needed to develop Russian offshore fields within indisputable areas until 2050, Rosneft Sergey Bogdanchikov said at a meeting of the Sea Board in Moscow

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On April 18, Rosneft’s headquarters hosted a meeting of the Russian governmental Maritime Board, which focused on justification of the external border of the Russian continental shelf. Rosneft President Sergey Bogdanchikov, who is a member of the Maritime Board, also participated in the meeting.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov, who chaired the Friday meeting, pointed out that particularly acute was the problem of establishing continental shelf borders in the Okhotsk Sea: “A free zone is in the central part of the sea, which can be called a gray zone. This is a 56,400 square kilometers area where foreign companies fish”. Mr. Ivanov noted that activities of such fishing companies are seriously detrimental to Russia’s economic interests. Furthermore, he stressed that several top-priority orders from the Maritime Board had not yet been executed.

“The Government has not yet ratified the lists of baseline reference points to establish the width of the marine zone, the exclusive economic zone, and the continental shelf”, Sergey Ivanov said. He also pointed out that the database project was running far behind the schedule, which was obviously due to Roskartografia’s sheer miscomprehension of the set objectives and, consequently, inadequate project management and implementation approach.

Chairman of the Maritime Board also dwelt on political aspects of justifying the continental shelf border: “We are primarily focused on economic aspects of shelf exploration that involve comprehensive development of new oil and gas fields, fishing areas, etc. However, relevant political implications can hardly be overestimated”. Elaborating on this point, Mr. Ivanov said that legal resolution of the continental shelf issues would allow extending Russia’s borders, which is in fact an arduous task requiring a lot of effort from highly skilled specialists, consistent application of innovative technology, and visionary strategic planning.

Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev, in his turn, noted that fully completing the establishment of the continental shelf border entails shooting about 24,000 linear kilometers of seismic for a total of RUB 500 million. According to Mr. Trutnev, another RUB 1 billion would need to be invested in a 2-year bathymetric mapping program, which would be carried out by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Yuri Trutnev specified that implementing these comprehensive measures will be possible once a target governmental program is ready, which should clearly state further development steps and activities to build a sound research infrastructure.

Rosneft President Sergey Bogdanchikov noted that total planned investment in the development of undisputed shelf areas through 2050 exceeds RUB 60 trillion, of which RUB 45 trillion will be allocated for development and RUB 16 trillion, for exploration. According to Mr. Bogdanchikov, another RUB 10—12 trillion would need to be invested in the development of disputed shelf areas.
Sergey Bogdanchikov also said that total potential resources of disputed shelf areas are estimated at 13.5—14 billion tonnes of oil equivalent. During 2030—2050, some 80—90 mln tonnes of hydrocarbons could be produced in such territories, the expected oil and gas output split being 50:50.

Mr. Bogdanchikov also drew attention to the controversies over the so-called ‘gray zone’ between Russia and Norway, as well as to the controversies with Ukraine and Georgia over the southern seas territories, with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan over Caspian shelf areas, and with the United States over the Arctic shelf. According to Rosneft President, total resources of the Barents Sea shelf are forecast at over 7 billion tonnes of oil equivalent, the production potential exceeding 20 million tonnes a year, while total expected resources and production potential of the Arctic shelf are no less than 5 billion tonnes of oil equivalent and 45—47 million tonnes a year, respectively. About 300 million tonnes of resources can be added on the Bering Sea shelf (production potential — 8—9 million tonnes); total hydrocarbon resources of the Azov Sea territories are assessed at 350 million tonnes, with production potential standing at 4—5 million tonnes; total resources of the Black Sea areas are estimated at some 420 million tonnes (production potential — 10—12 million tonnes a year).

The Maritime Board also tackled several matters related to optimizing port checkpoint operations and promoting diving.

Source: Rosneft 

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