Rosneft reported on December 20, 2017, that the company has spudded the Maria-1 exploration well offshore in the Black Sea. Forecasted oil in place for Zapadno-Chernomorskaya licence area is estimated to exceed 570 million tons.
Drilling preparations included acquisition of more than 4,000 kilometers of 2D seismic and over 3,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data together with integrated geotechnical surveys.
It is a unique project. Designed well depth is 6,126 meters with the water depth at the drilling site exceeding 2,000 meters. The well is drilled by Scarabeo-9 semisubmersible rig operated by Saipem.
Rig mobilization was an extremely complex yet successfully delivered engineering and transportation operation. On September 2017 the rig left the port of Las-Palmas, passed the Bosphorus strait and arrived to the Rumanian port of Constanta a month later. Total distance enroute exceeded 3 thousand nautical miles.
The rig is equipped with a high-precision dynamic positioning system which ensures constant location of the platform right over the wellhead. Besides, the rig has a dual derrick enabling to drill the well simultaneously with casing and wellhead equipment assembly and running operations. This enables to cut well construction cycle by up to 30%.
The rig is 115 meters high with the deck 80 meters wide. Scarabeo-9 has the deadweight of 31 thousand tons and is capable of drilling up to the depth of 15 kilometers.
The rig meets all the technical requirements of the Project and rigorous environmental standards. To prevent any technical and environmental risks the rig has subsea capping system with 7 blow-out preventers (a mechanism for sealing the wellhead in case of an emergency).
«Currently we assume that the forecasted oil in place for the license area is around 600 million of tons. Upon completion of additional works and technical studies the Company plans to refine and possibly increase the potential geological resources appraisal. State of the art technologies and equipment in combination with vast experience provided by world leading oil & gas majors and service providers are being employed at the Project. This opens a new phase in the Black sea offshore development in cooperation with our strategic partners» – said Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.