NSR Shipping Traffic – Drilling works in 2021

In 2021, 3 drilling rigs and 1 drilling vessel conducted work in the waters of the Northern Sea Route. Besides that, 16 vessels – suppliers, SAR, tugs, tankers – supported the drilling works. In total 127 voyages were made in the framework of drilling. The works took place in the period from July to November.

Bavenit drilling vessel

The ship worked in the waters of the Laptev Sea, for the first time in history, explored shallow stratigraphic wells in the Eastern Arctic and collected drill samples for scientific work. Valuable stone material serves as a direct source of geological information necessary to determine the age, composition and formation conditions of sedimentary rocks in the shelf area under study. As a result of the expedition, scientists expect to build a reliable geological model of the region and assess its oil and gas potential.

Gazprom Nedra has successfully completed the first project in Russia for advanced drilling of pilot exploration wells on the Arctic shelf — in the licensed areas of Gazprom in the Kara and Barents Seas. Within a month, using the Russian research vessel Bavenit, the company drilled 5 pilot wells with an average depth of about 560 m. The absence of near-surface gas and other hazards in the upper part of the section in the places of planned exploration wells was confirmed. Further work on drilling and construction of deep wells was carried out by the Severnoe Siyanie drilling rig.

Severnoe Siyanie drilling rig

The drilling rig was delivered from the port of Vostochnyy (Russia) to Murmansk to prepare for exploration work by Gazprom Nedra on the Russian Arctic shelf. In the waters of the Kara Sea, the Severnoye Siyanie rig was used to construct and test an exploratory well to increase gas reserves.

Gazprom Nedra’s initiative for a new well construction scheme on the Arctic shelf was approved in 2020. It provides for the use of one offshore drilling rig for the construction of two wells in two water areas in one season. According to this scheme, in ice-free water, from April to June, construction of one test or exploration well is underway on the shelf of the Barents Sea. Upon completion of the work, when summer navigation on the NSR starts – and the water area is cleared of ice, the drilling rig is relocated and, from July to November, is drilling a well in the licensed areas of the Kara Sea.

Perro Negro 8 drilling rig

The drilling rig, owned by the Italian oilfield services company Saipem, was delivered from the Persian Gulf first to Murmansk, and after that Perro Negro 8 went to the Ob Bay. There, drilling was carried out at the Geofizicheskoe field, belonged to Novatek.

Arkticheskaya drilling rig

Arkticheskaya made drilling of a prospecting well at the Skuratovskiy licensed area on the shelf of the Kara Sea. The rig was towed in a caravan of transport and towing vessels Kazanin Explorer and Kigoriak, as well as accompanied by the SAR vessel Spasatel Demidov. The duration of towing to the point of well drilling was 15 days. The operation took place in difficult weather conditions, typical for this time of year and in the towing area.

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