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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Russian oil firm Rosneft to start Black Sea exploration drilling

MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-controlled crude producer Rosneft [RTS: ROSN] plans to start exploration drilling in the Black Sea, a company official said on Tuesday. Alexander Svistelnikov, head of the Rosneft division for prospective shelf projects, said the company intended to start drilling in 2009 near Tuapse in south Russia at a depth of 1,000-2,000 meters (0.6-1.2 miles). The oil reserves at the Tuapse stretch are estimated at 4.32 billion barrels, Rosneft said on its website. Rosneft also intends to drill two oil wells at the Black Sea Val Shatskogo offshore oil deposit in 2010-2011, the official said. Svistelnikov said the crude producer also hoped to obtain licenses to develop offshore deposits in the Arctic Kara and Barents Seas. The Rosneft official said the company's strategy to gradually develop territories close to its existing projects along with the Arctic shelf was a promising area.

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