It has been reported that ExxonMobil and Rosneft operations have stopped in the Kara Sea due to Western sanctions. ExxonMobil released a statement saying: “ExxonMobil is complying with all US sanctions. The US Treasury Department, recognizing the complexity of the University-1 well and the sensitive Kara Sea arctic environment, has granted a license to ExxonMobil and other US contractors and persons involved to enable the safe and responsible winding down of operations related to this exploration well. The license recognizes the need to protect the safety of the individuals involved in these operations as well as the risk to the environment. All activities related to the wind down will proceed as safely and expeditiously as possible.”
Russia’s natural resources minister was quoted earlier as saying it was highly likely that US supermajor ExxonMobil and Russian state-owned Rosneft had halted operations in the Kara Sea due to Western sanctions over Ukraine.
Work stopped just a few days after the U.S. and European Union barred companies from helping Russia exploit Arctic, deepwater or shale-oil fields, said three people with knowledge of the rig’s operations who asked not to be named since they weren’t authorized to speak about the project. The U.S. sanctions, meant to punish Russia for escalating tensions in Ukraine, gave American companies until Sept. 26 to stop all restricted drilling and testing services.
Rosneft said that the Universitetskaya structure contains a 55m high hydrocarbon trap, with resources of 1.3 billion tons boe and that 30 structures have been found in three East Prinovozemelskiy areas, with a resource base totaling 87 billion boe.
The Kara Sea has water depths ranging between 40-350m, and Rosneft places the depth at the drilling spot at 81m.