Oil drilling in Arctic
Photo: Oil platform in the Arctic shelf
These days the Russian zone of Arctic remains one of the few regions in the world where there can be found huge reserves of completely intact oil & gas deposits on the Earth that so far avoided any significant exploratory drilling. Some of the biggest oil reserves are concentrated in comparatively small-sized Arctic oilfields. Oil companies believe there are reserves of oil for drilling in the Western Arctic's Barents and Kara seas, on the shelf of Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Seas in the Eastern Arctic. 4 oilfields, believed to be the biggest from an array of the locations, waiting for oil drilling in Arctic, should be Prirazlomnoe, Dolginskoye, Varandey, and Medyn oilfields, located in the Barents Sea.
As for the natural gas reserves of the Russian zone of Arctic, the Shtokman gas field alone by estimates contains approximately 4 trillion cubic meters of gas with a potential of producing volumes of natural gas that could be compared to the output offered by the best gas fields in Iraq. If again speaking about oil reserves, available for drilling in Arctic by Russia, the oil deposits, discovered in the Nenets Autonomous District, have been evaluated as equal to the confirmed reserves of oil in Norway's North Sea sector.
Vacancies in Arctic: Roustabout, job provider/employer: ASRC Energy Services, job location: Prudhoe Bay, AK; The same employer also looks to hire: Pipefitter to work in Anchorage, AK. Good candidates will be at least 25 years old, physically fit, 2 years of experience working under Arctic climate and weather conditions, salary - to be negotiated. This is an excellent job offer for motivated individuals, such as ex-military or ex-navy personnel, wishing to proceed towards career in offshore oil drilling sector.
In the American sector of the Arctic oil reserves on the shelf of the Chukchi Sea are estimated at approximately 15 million barrels, while gas reserves have been calculated to exceed 2 trillion cubic meters. Currently 20% of oil production in the USA is being attributed to Prudhoe Bay oilfield on the north coast of Alaska. 49 oil and gas fields have been discovered in the delta of the Mackenzie River and 15 on islands in the Canadian sector of Arctic. The most significant proven offshore gas reserves are located off the coast of Alaska and Siberia.
At present time it becomes obvious and leaves no doubt whatsoever that Arctic in the not so distant future will evolve to the main source of oil and gas production for Russia, USA, Canada, and other countries. That's why the interest of the Arctic countries towards oil drilling in Arctic is extreme, and expert geophysicists and geologists predict that the struggle between them for these resources in the future will only aggravate, which can be explained by factors like the global warming and the depletion of oil reserves worth further drilling in the parts of Earth other than Arctic. These are just some of truly valid reasons for creating an enabling environment for investment and resource companies like BP, ExxonMobil and other major oil and gas exploration companies to guarantee the due protection of their investments in exploration and oil drilling in Arctic.
In September 2014 Rosneft announced the discovery of a new ultralight oil field, resulting from exploratory drilling for oil in the world's northernmost Arctic Kara Sea shelf. The oilfield was named "Pobeda" (the "Victory"). The exploratory oil drilling in Arctic this time was carried out by Rosnetf jointly with the US oil giant ExxonMobil. Drilling for oil took just six weeks before hitting the reserve. Special attention was paid to absolute compliance with the world's offshore oil well drilling industry technological and environmental requirements. Experts believe oil reserves in the Kara Sea region of Arctic are going to beat the volume of oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazilian shelf, Arctic shelf of Alaska and Canada, and could be compared to the entire stock of the natural oil deposits of Saudi Arabia.
Vacancies in Arctic: Instrument Technician, job location: Alaska. Degree in technical or mechanical discipline would be considered as advantage. HSE Field Specialist, oil rig job location: Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. May be required to travel and stay on missions for periods up to 25 working days. Great salary, benefits package that includes complete health care. Other vacancies from the same employer: Crane Operator, Driller, Assistant Driller, Directional Driller, Derrickman, Mud Logger, Mud Engineer, Roughneck, Roustabout, Rigger, Rope Access Technician, Medic, Radio Operator, Rig Electrician, Assistant Crane Operator, Maintenance Roustabout job - 3 vacancies, offshore.
The exploratory drilling for oil was performed from the West Alpha platform. The Offshore Oil Rig manager stressed that the drilling crew was totally committed to demonstrate safe drilling for oil with no accidents, breakdowns, or oil spills, is possible in Arctic. It is completely possible to ensure nothing even remotely similar to the oil spill caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon's blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 would happen in Arctic. The mobile oil rig that was used to drill that lucky exploratory Universitetskaya-1 well that lead to the discovery of the new oilfield in Arctic had been constructed in Norway.
The other companies, engaged in oil drilling in Arctic, are: Shell (has been drilling for oil at Alaska and Canada subarctic and Arctic regions for decades, recent acquisitions have included exploration leases for locations at Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea). North Atlantic Drilling Ltd (subsidiary of Seadrill Ltd, incorporated at Bermuda Islands)
As of February - March 2015, the situation was as following: energy companies gave up production drilling for oil in Arctic due to the collapse in oil prices. Norwegian state company Statoil made it clear that the corporation hardly will commence drilling for oil at the North Pole as it had been planned before. Chevron announced they would put off drilling for oil in the Beaufort Sea until the better times when the oil market stabilizes. Together with Dong Energy and GDF Suez, Statoil surrendered their license to drill for oil from offshore platforms off the coast of Greenland. Still Eni, operator of the Goliath oilfield in Greenland announced it would transport a giant oil drilling platform to the location of its work in Arctic, where FPSO units should also arrive, while the other offshore platform, chartered by the Royal Dutch Shell Co, is planned to be put in operation to begin drilling for oil off the US coast in the Chukchi Sea. Spokesman for Statoil said the company won't start drilling for oil in Norway's sector of Arctic this year, meaning the development of Johan Castberg oilfield is to be postponed.
Because of the protests of environmentalists and the unfavorable economic situation, the US oil companies are looking for more attractive options to implement oil drilling projects than Arctic.
tags: Oil production platform in Arctic.