Russia looks towards the Barents Sea for oil and gas exports

Publish date: March 23, 2007

Russian oil exports through the Barents Sea might reach 150 million tons within a decade, a draft report from the Norwegian Barents Secretariat states. The report demonstrates that the Shtokman gas field is only a part of a far broader picture with the development of several new export terminals and hydrocarbon fields under planning.

Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Rune Rafaelsen, stresses that the forecasted boost in Russian northern exports will take place even without the building of a new trunk oil pipeline from Western Siberia to the Barents Sea coast.

The report, which is still not officially presented, reads that annual oil exports from the Russian part of the Barents Region may reach a volume of about 50-100 million tons already within the next decade. The Norwegian Barents Secretariat has ordered the report, which is written by the Akvaplan-Niva company, BarentsObserver reports.

About 40 million tons of crude oil and oil products can be delivered by railway to the ports of Murmansk on the Barents Sea coast, and Kandalaksha, Onega, Severodvinsk and Arkhangelsk in the White Sea. Up to 20 million tons of oil could come from the oil fields in the Nenets Autonomous Region, and from Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea. In addition, about 30 million tons of oil can be delivered annually via terminals in the Kara and Laptev Seas with transhipment in the Kola Bay of the Barents Sea.

According to the Russian Ministry of Nature Resources the extractable reserves of hydrocarbons on the Russian Continental shelf are estimated to 10.8 billion tons in oil equivalent. The long-term state shelf strategy, as expected, should allow the country to ensure high annual levels of production on the shelf at the level of 90 million tons of oil and 300 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The Federal Agency on Sub-Soil Resources has already prepared a program for licensing of mineral resources areas on the continental shelf, proposing to hold six auctions by 2010.

With regard to gas production, the Shtokman field is, together with fields on and around the Yamal peninsula, the priority area for the Russian petroleum industry. The Shtokman field also contains about 3.7 trillion cubic meters of gas. Also a number of other fields are however of high relevance. According to Gazprom estimations, the gas reserves in the region (excluding Shtokman gas field) can provide the total production of 10 billion cubic meters of gas and 300 thousand tons of gas condensate by the year 2020.

The report titled “Oil Transport From the Russian Part of the Barents Region” is based on a report with the same title published in 2003. The purpose of the updated edition is to provide the reader with new information for the organization of oil transportation in the Russian part of the Barents Sea is constantly changing. The report describes the ongoing transportation activities inside the Russian part of the Barents Sea but also gives an overview of other Russian regions involved in oil export.

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