Yermak-Neftegaz, a JV between long-time partners Rosneft and BP, has shored up plans to sink its first exploration well next year at the West-Yarudeisky block in Russia’s Yamal Nenets region.
According to Rosneft, the well has a target depth of 3,000 metres and will test five potential pay zones. In preparation for the work, Yermak-Neftegaz aims to construct a 25-km temporary winter road between January and March to provide access to the site. Drilling is set to commence in April and continue for three months. Tests will take place during the second half of the year, after which the drilling rig will be demobilised.
In tender documents posted on its website, Rosneft invited contractors to bid to provide various support services and collect geophysical data during the drilling of the well. The deadline for offers was December 3.
Rosneft and BP set up Yermak-Neftegaz in 2016 to find and develop oil and gas fields in unexplored areas of northern Russia. The JV secured exploration rights to the West-Yarudeisky, Kheiginsky and Anomalny blocks in the Nadymsky district of Yamalo-Nenets later that year. At the time, West-Yarudeisky contained an estimated 12.3 million tonnes (90.2 million barrels) of oil, 14.6 bcm of gas and 1.63 million tonnes (14.7 million barrels) of condensate in D1+D2 reserves.
Yermak-Neftegaz also gained licences for the Baikalovsky, Posoisky and Verkhnekubinsky blocks in northern Krasnoyarsk in late 2016. The Baikovsky area encompasses Rosneft’s 2009 Baikalovskoye oil and gas discovery. The JV sank a well there in 2017, and in March this year Rosneft reported the discovery of additional resources at the field, without going into specifics. According to its website, the company also held a tender last month to spud another well at Verkhnekubinsky.
Rosneft has a 51% stake in Yermak-Neftegaz, while BP controls the remaining 49% interest. The pair have teamed up at several greenfield and brownfield projects in Russia, including the Kharampursky block in Yamalo-Nenets. Russian authorities approved Kharampursky’s transfer to Rosneft and BP’s Kharampurneftegaz JV last month. Rosneft estimates the Kharampursky and the neighbouring Festivalny block hold 880 bcm in in-place gas reserves. It claims the sites could eventually yield up to 24 bcm per year.