Rosneft Announces “Victory” in the Kara Sea, Huge Discovery Made

west alpha drilling rig
West Alpha, image via Rosneft

By Rob Almeida and Shubin Aleksey

Rosneft estimates 338 billion cubic meters of gas and 100 million tons of oil have just been found in a new field in the Kara Sea, drilled by the West Alpha semi-submersible drilling rig.  Universitetskaya-1 is also the northernmost well in the world located in the icy waters 250 kilometers north of Russia.

One of 30 hydrocarbon-bearing formations identified in the Kara Sea, the Universitetskaya structure covers 1,200 square kilometers and has resources of more than 1.3 billion tons of oil equivalent.  According to experts, Rosneft notes the volume of oil in the Kara Sea exceeds the oil and gas resources the Gulf of Mexico, the Brazilian shelf, the shelf of Alaska and Canada, and will be comparable to the resource base of Saudi Arabia.

While anchored to the seabed in 81 meters of water, North Atlantic Drilling’s West Alpha drilled to a total vertical depth of 2,113 meters, and set five casing strings along the way.  Karmorneftegaz, a joint venture between Rosneft and ExxonMobil, is the operator of the license area.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin commented on the latest news:

“I can inform you about the discovery of the first oil/gas-condensate field in the new Kara sea oil province. The first oil was extracted. It is an astonishing sample of light oil, which based on the results of the analysis performed, is comparable to the Siberian Light oil. This is an outstanding result of the first exploratory drilling on a completely new offshore field. This is our united victory, it was achieved thanks to our friends and partners from ExxonMobil, Nord Atlantic Drilling, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford, Baker, Trendsetter, FMC.

Sechin concluded his remarks naming the new field “Pobeda,” the Slavic word for victory.