Rosneft and its US partner ExxonMobil have commenced aerial gravity-magnetic surveys of Russian offshore blocks at the Yuzhno-Chukotsky licence area in the Eastern Arctic to establish the subsurface structure of the field.
As part of a framework agreed, the companies will explore six licence areas jointly in the Chukchi and the Laptev Seas, namely the Ust-Lensky, Ust-Oleneksky, Anisinsko-Novosibirsky, Yuzhno-Chukotsky, and Severo-Vrangelevsky 1 and 2 areas.
By the end of 2014, all six licence areas, with a total area of 440,000m² will be surveyed by three airplanes carrying magnetometric and gravimetric equipment.
RN-Shelf Far East, a Rosneft subsidiary, will conduct the aerial gravity-magnetic survey, which studies the subsurface structures of oil and gas basins and foreruns massive seismic exploration.
Mounted on an aerial vehicle, the equipment records the intensity and direction of geomagnetic and gravity fields related to subsurface rocks in the area in question.
According to Rosneft, the surveys can be performed through ice without the requirement of survey vessels, which helps accelerate the process considerably.
Keeping with all Russian environment protection requirements, the company is moving ahead with the surveys.
In 2013, Rosneft was awarded the licences to explore and develop hydrocarbons in the Ust-Lensky, Ust-Oleneksky, Anisinsko-Novosibirsky, Yuzhno-Chukotsky and Severo-Vrangelevsky 1 and 2 areas.
Projected recoverable reserves of the licence areas as estimated by the company are 7,233mt of oil and 6,709bcm of gas.
Image: Rosneft and ExxonMobil will explore six licence areas jointly in the Chukchi and the Laptev Seas. Photo: courtesy of GNPP Aerogeophysica.