Russian natural gas producer Novatek has discovered a major gas field in Ob Bay, off the country’s northwest Siberian coast.
The new North-Obskoye field has estimated reserves of more than 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas under Russian reserve classification, and its total resources at the drilled well area are estimated at more than 900 bcm of natural gas.
"The discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves at the North-Obskoye field is an important starting point for one of our future LNG projects in the Arctic region,” says Novatek chairman Leonid Mikhelson in a statement. “The favourable geographical location of the field, its huge resource base and our accumulated LNG experience are important prerequisites to successfully implement this new LNG project”.
The discovery comes as Russia seeks to rapidly develop its Arctic hydrocarbon resources. The $27bn Yamal LNG plant – which is majority owned by Novatek – began exporting cargos at the end of last year.
The company is also developing the onshore Utrenneye gas-condensate field on the nearby Gydan Peninsula. French oil major Total has taken a 10 per cent stake in this project.
As international interest in Russian natural gas picks up, the country is exploring new, more efficient routes for shipping its resources across the world. In July, Novatek transported its first cargos of LNG from the Yamal plant to China via the Northern Sea route, which spans the length of the Siberian coast.