Gazprom withdraws from Barents Sea

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This Gazprom rig will not drill in the Barents Sea any time time soon. (Photo: Gazprom.ru)
This Gazprom rig will not drill in the Barents Sea any time time soon. (Photo: Gazprom.ru)
Its drilling program in the area is far too ambitious, the company admits.

Gazprom, Russia’s monopoly gas exporter, was originally to drill 12 exploration wells and conduct 20,000 km of 2D and 9,000 square km of 3D seismic mapping in the Barents Sea by year 2025.

That will not happen.

The company now admits that it is “not only practically impossible, but also pointless” to proceed with the plans.

“Considering the current situation, it is clear that drilling in the Barents Sea license areas will be part of a distant perspective,” the company informs in its corporate newspaper.

Needed corrections in the license agreements are currently being made.

The company still remain active on the shelf, however, in other regions.

“Over the next years, our main objects will be located along the shelf of the Yamal Peninsula, among them the Nyarmeysky, Skuratovsky, Beloostrovsky licenses, as well as the Leningradsky and Rusanovsky,” the company informs.

Gazprom controls a total of 33 offshore licenses, of which seven are in the Barents Sea and 20 in the Kara Sea. Most of the licenses were obtained in the years 2013-2014. In 2015, a total of 6,700 square km of 3D seismic mapping were conducted in 16 of the Barents and Kara Sea license areas.

Along all of the Russian shelf, Gazprom reports to have conducted a total of 11,750 km of 2D mapping and 23,200 square km of 3D mapping.

Also Gazprom’s competitor, Rosneft, reports about comprehensive Arctic continental shelf mapping. A total of 84,000 km of 2D and 18,000 square km of 3D mapping has been conducted on the Russian shelf. That is respectively two and three times more than originally planned, the company informs. In 2016, the company plans for a total of 2,000 square km of 3D and 26,000 km of 2D mapping, as well as the drilling of two wells in the Sea of Okhotsk, the company informs.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Trudeau and Obama’s Arctic endeavours, Deutsche Welle Ice-Blog

Finland: Experts question Finland’s energy decisions, data, Yle News

Norway:  Nobel Peace Prize winners call for halt to Arctic drilling, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  Spilled oil spreads into more rivers, fuels popular discontent, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  Will Sweden be able to produce enough energy in the future?, Radio Sweden

United States: Shell isn’t the only oil company leaving Alaska’s Arctic, Alaska Dispatch News

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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