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Transocean Starts Drilling on the Veninksy Block

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/30/2009, Location: Asia

On June 30, a self-elevating floating drilling rig (SEFDR), Transocean Shelf Explorer, started drilling on the Veninsky Block at the Sakhalin-3 project, in which a 74,9% stake belongs to Rosneft and the remaining 25,1% are held by the Chinese petrochemical Sinopec corporation.

The drilling was ordered by the Project operator, Veninneft LLC, which had scheduled the drilling of two exploration wells during the 2009 field season.

The first Veninsky Block well will be drilled at a distance of roughly 10 kilometers from the shore, with the actual drilling site lying 25 meters beneath the sea. The second well will be located on the North-Veninsky structure, almost 9 kilometers off shore and 21 meters deep. The drilling operations will last till the middle of October. The drilling will be controlled by Veninneft, while supply, transportation and communications will be provided by the Russian companies working on the Sakhalin Island.

Launched in 1982, the Transocean Shelf Explorer has since been repeatedly upgraded. The last large-scale modernization of the rig (completed in April this year) was specifically commissioned by Veninneft in order to adapt the rig to the future operations on the Sakhalin continental shelf.

REA-Sakhalin Company will be responsible for the environmental monitoring of the drilling area, while a special Rubin ship will provide a 24-hour stand-by duty to prevent and clean-up spills of oil and oil products.

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