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Rosneft starts exploration drilling at Vostok Oil project in Arctic

According to Rosneft, the expected economic effect is the tenfold return from each invested ruble

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Rosneft has initiated drilling of exploration wells as part of the Vostok Oil project in Arctic Russia, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian oil major Igor Sechin said at the meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

"One of promising greenfield projects, which will also give new volumes to the market after its stabilization, as we expect, is the Vostok Oil project, where we have started exploration drilling," Sechin said.

According to Rosneft, the expected economic effect is the tenfold return from each invested ruble. Implementation of the project will also provide a 2% increase of GDP annually.

Fifteen field camps, three airfields and two marine terminals will be created within the project framework. The project may involve about 100,000 jobs.

Cooperation on the project

Vostok Oil, Inter RAO and Taimyrneftegaz signed an agreement stipulating construction of gas-fired power plants and power grid assets for power supply to a group of oil and gas fields of the Vostok Oil project, Inter RAO and Rosneft said in a joint statement.

"Inter RAO will organize development of power supply diagrams for the Vostok Oil project, engineering, equipment procurement and energy infrastructure construction within the agreement framework," the statement reads.

According to preliminary data, the generating company plans to build several power plants with the total capacity of about 2.5 GW and the grid infrastructure in Taimyr, a spokesman of Inter RAO told reporters. Plants will work in the isolated mode. The amount and the plan to finance construction and the subsequent ownership format of assets will be determined after completion of work on the Vostok Oil power supply project.

As part of the cooperation, Inter RAO plans to install domestic generating turbines at power plants. Installation of turbines produced by the Russian Gas Turbines, Inter RAO's joint venture with General Electric (GE), is one of options but other options are also considered, a spokesperson for the generating company told reporters.

"The task is to predominantly use Russian equipment when building power plants. Russian Gas Turbines is one of options. Other options are also being considered," the spokesperson said.

Inter RAO and General Electric own the Russian Gas Turbines joint venture on a parity basis. The joint venture announced the desire to work on the increase of gas turbines production localization within the framework of the special investment contract, the Russian Ministry of Energy said at the turn of the last year. The company is considering an option of entering into the special investment contract, the top management of Inter RAO indicated last November.