MOSCOW: Russian oil major Rosneft has announced the discovery of a new oil deposit while drilling at Khatanga Bay in the Laptev Sea in the eastern Arctic. The Ministry of Natural Resources says this could be the largest oil deposit on the country’s Arctic shelf. “During the drilling of the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well from the shore of the Khara-Tumus Peninsula on the shelf of the Khatanga Bay of the Laptev Sea, three core samples were taken from depths of 2305 to 2363 m, which showed high oil saturation dominated with light oily fractions,” the company said in a statement. The potential of the newly-discovered deposit has yet to be verified, the company said. “On the basis of primary studies, it can be concluded a new oil field has been discovered, the volume of the resource potential of which is increasing as the drilling continues. Core sampling continues at the moment,” a statement from Rosneft said.
Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy congratulated the company on the discovery and said this could be the largest oil deposit in the Russian Arctic. “Now we expect more discoveries from our colleagues. They promise to cheer up the sector soon,” Donskoy posted on Facebook. Russia’s largest private oil company – Lukoil – is also operating in Khatanga. Lukoil has been developing the Eastern Taimyr sector. The area’s coastal resources are estimated at 4.5 million tons of oil, 9.3 billion cubic meters of gas and 0.5 million tons of condensate.