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Reports that Rosneft halts Arctic shelf drilling unconfirmed — minister

September 19, 2014, 19:01 UTC+3
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SOCHI, September 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy denied on Friday that Rosneft had halted drilling on an offshore oil well in the Arctic.

Previously, Donskoy announced plans to discuss prospects of Arctic shelf drilling with Rosneft’s Vice-President Larisa Kalanda.Sources told Bloomberg that Exxonmobil and Rosneft had allegedly stopped drilling on the Arctic shelf. “As far as I know, there has been information that drilling could be halted. But these reports have not been confirmed,” Donskoy explained.

Rosneft started drilling wells in the Arctic earlier than deadline mentioned in the license. That is why, the minister said, it would be pre-mature to speak about any problems with the license due to disruption of deadlines.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil started drilling on Russia’s northernmost well, Universitetskaya, with the help of West Alpha rig delivered by Norwegian firm North Atlantic Drilling early in August. Rosneft and North Atlantic Drilling concluded long-term agreements for drilling wells on the Arctic shelf on July 30, 2014. West Alpha was transported via the Barents, Pechorsk and Kara Seas and installed at a drilling location on the Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky-1 licensed site in the Kara Sea.

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