Russia remained without technology for oil production in the Arctic

The only developed Arctic field for the near future will remain Prirazlomnoye in the Pechora Sea from Gazprom Neft.
"One of the main problems of Russian oilfield service companies is the gap between foreign colleagues in the technologies used," Deloitte writes in the survey "The review of the oilfield services market in 2018". "Vedomosti" got acquainted with the content. Experts note that foreign enterprises use high-tech equipment, invest in research and development, attract highly qualified specialists. In the medium term, we should not expect from Russian oilfield service companies such technologies that meet the standards for working on the shelf and in permafrost conditions, notes Deloitte.

Now offshore oil companies are working Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Lukoil. Most of the existing fields of the company were equipped before 2014, before the US introduced sectoral sanctions. The producers from China and South-East Asia benefited from their introduction, Deloitte writes. China became a significant player in the Russian market of oil production equipment. How many orders these companies received are not included in the study.

Russian Eurasia Drilling (EDC) operates on the Russian oilfield services market, and Schlumberger (tries to buy a stake in EDC), Weatherford, Eni-Sapiem, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Chinese ZPEC, COSL, from foreign oilfield service companies. But they drill wells and build wells on the mainland, Russian companies have increased drilling operations by 40% to 27.7 million m in the past four years.

Deloitte expects that in the next three years Russia will increase the share of oilfield equipment from China, the Republic of Korea, Singapore. For example, the Chinese company Jereh, which produces drilling equipment, quickly established a large network of branches of warranty service in Russia, as well as a spare parts warehouse, writes Deloitte.

In Russia, few have experience of drilling on the shelf, the president of Soyuzneftegazservice, Igor Melnikov, notes. "In Russia, there are long-term plans to develop projects on the shelf, including the Arctic," Andrei Polischuk, an analyst at Raiffeisenbank, recalls. "It's necessary to have your own expertise".

To develop drilling technologies on the shelf, large investments are required and at least 5-7 years for the development itself, if one tries to avoid Western companies, says Dmitri Marinchenko, Director of Fitch Corporation. It is difficult to predict the price of oil in the long term and to justify investment decisions on the development of technologies, so it is more appropriate to involve Western companies, Marinchenko believes. Such projects are capital-intensive, taking risks, using only Russian unproven technologies, many are not ready, Polishchuk agrees.

"It's almost impossible to do this [to attract Western companies], as many foreign oilfield services companies have left the Russian market because of sanctions," said Aton analyst Alexander Kornilov.

The Russian equipment will not soon correspond to the entire list of international technology standards that are needed for drilling on the shelf and in the Arctic zone, the head of the "Gas and the Arctic" direction of the Energy Center of the Skolkovo business school, Roman Samsonov, is confident. He estimated that Russian oilmen could drill from four to 14 wells per year. Most likely, the only developed Arctic field for the near future will remain Prirazlomnoye in the Pechora Sea, Gazprom Neft, says the expert.

Rosneft drilled on the Arctic shelf with the US ExxonMobil, successfully drilled a well in the Kara Sea in 2014, opening the Pobeda deposit, with Norway's Statoil (renamed Equinor) and Eni, too, projects, but they fail: drilling two wells in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk with Equinor did not yield positive results, as well as the well with Eni in the Black Sea.

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