Kara Sea Platform 'West Alpha' Starts Drilling

By George Backwell
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
West Alpha: Photo courtesy of PSA Norway

The 'West Alpha' platform, owned by North Atlantic Drilling, has begun drilling the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea as part of a joint Rosneft and ExxonMobil project, reports Russian official news agency 'Arctic-info'.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who took part in the launch of works by videoconference, called it an important step in the development of prospective fields in the Arctic. He noted the uniqueness of the project in terms of technologies applied in exploration and environmental enterprises.

Earlier, the head of the Russian oil company, Igor Sechin, said that the beginning of the implementation of the joint project between Rosneft and ExxonMobil in the Kara Sea is the most important event for the company in 2014.

According to Sechin, the oil resources of the Kara Sea exceed the ones of the Bay of Mexico, Brasilian shelf, Alaska and northern Canada and can be compared with the resources of Saudi Arabia.

Exploration drilling on the drilling platform in the Kara Sea should be complete within the next two months.

The West Alpha platform was further upgraded to work in the particular conditions of the northern seas, and is equipped, according to Arctic-info' with an 'innovative complex for monitoring ice conditions and preventing collisions with icebergs.'

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