August 2, 2011
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Co-Operation Key To Arctic & Extreme Environment Success

International co-operation is essential if the challenge faced by the global oil and gas industry of successfully and responsibly exploring and developing the hydrocarbon resources that lie in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions is to be met.

According to the two co-chairmen of the SPE Arctic & Extreme Environments (AEE) technical conference and exhibition taking place in October this year, competition would make everybody lose, while co-operation is likely to allow everyone to win.

Co-chair Anatoly Zolotukhin, Vice-Principal at Gubkin State University, commented: “In our opinion, the goal of this event is to raise general awareness of the challenges. To make everybody understand that developing the Arctic region is not an easy task, and not a task for a single operator, or even a single country. This is a global challenge of developing a whole region. Solutions may only be found in co-operation between the countries, not necessarily just the Arctic and sub-Arctic ones. Our goal is to bring forth the problems related to the Arctic and extreme environment plays, the complexity of these problems, and not only from the technological and engineering perspective but from the social, environmental and operating safety perspective too.”

Co-chair Sergey Brezitsky, VP Exploration & Production at TNK-BP, stressed the importance of learning from those with direct experience: “This is one of the major regions with undeveloped petroleum resources. Some companies and delegates have relevant experience. This is why it will be very useful to listen to peers such as BP, Shell and others, who possess real and valuable experience, having begun the development of such plays tens of years ago.”

Mr Brezitsky flagged up developments such as Prudhoe Bay in Alaska’s North Slope as an example of where such experience, ideas and solutions can come from. “There is no way to approach this region without advancing engineering solutions. This will ignite the advancement of associated industries related to petroleum and energy resources exploration and production in Russia,” he commented.

AEE chairmen discuss key topics in exclusive online TV interviews

Both co-chairmen have given exclusive online on-camera interviews about the key topics to be discussed at SPE AEE 2011. For views and commentary from these two leading Russian oil industry figures go to Further subjects discussed include details of the planned plenary sessions and their topics; specific engineering and environmental challenges related to onshore and offshore operations in the Arctic region; lessons learned from current onshore projects; engineering solutions vital for future successful exploration and development in the Arctic and sub-arctic; the importance of demonstrating the industry’s ability to develop arctic and extreme environment plays in a safe and responsible way; the long-term vision for successful development of the Arctic regions.

The SPE AEE 2011 event from 18-20th October in Moscow, Russia will be the focal point of the industry’s efforts to tackle Arctic and extreme environments in a safe, efficient and environmentally sound manner, and with the key involvement of local people as stakeholders. Being held under the overall theme ‘Extreme Challenges for Exploration & Production’, the Call for Papers earlier this year has produced an outstanding technical program of papers and presentations from operator and service companies around the world, as well as research institutions and universities.

-1-Plenary sessions over the course of the three-day event will focus on the following subjects: ‘Technology enablers to meet challenges of E&P’, ‘Future of Arctic Exploration’, and ‘Environment, Safety and Social Responsibility’.

The technical conference program, meanwhile, will cover categories including Exploration & Geology; Drilling & Well Construction Technology; Offshore & Onshore Technology; Production & Reservoir Management; Current Challenges of Arctic & Onshore Projects; Latest Technology & Technical Limits; Physical Environment & Human Capabilities for Arctic Field Development; and Arctic Pipelines.

In addition there will also be two Topical Breakfasts: one given by speakers from Schlumberger will focus on making reliability a ‘given’ in extreme environment operations; the other by Chevron Canada will discuss floating exploration drilling in the Beaufort Sea ‘Then and Now’.

A Topical Luncheon on Day 1, meanwhile, will feature the Arctic Oil Spill Joint Industry Project, and will be given by SINTEF, while Day 2’s luncheon will be under the topic of ‘Addressing Arctic Aspiration’ and be given by Santec Consulting Ltd.

Companies currently confirmed to participate at SPE AEE 2011 include BP, Chevron, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, Statoil, Total, TNK-BP, Shell, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, Bashneft, TMK and Polarcus, and many more.

The event at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre in Moscow will showcase the latest technology, products and solutions available to help the industry develop projects in arctic and extreme environments.

Official estimates put the amount of oil resources contained in Russia’s arctic shelf alone at 100 billion tonnes. Russia, Canada, Norway, the United States and Denmark are just some of the countries focused on the eventual and further development of their Arctic territories, both on and offshore, an area conservatively estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey organisation to hold up to 90 billion barrels of oil and 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas resources.

For more information go to: You can also find our group ‘Arctic & Extreme Environments Oil & Gas’ on, and can follow us via @SPE_Arctic.


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