Half-owned by BP, Russian oil company TNK-BP is set to invest up to $10 billion in Arctic oilfield development and the construction of a pipeline to link the fields with an export pipeline.
As traditional deposits in the West Siberia hinterland are largely being depleted, Russia, the world's top crude producer, is desperate to tap new hydrocarbon resources at the far-flung reaches of the Arctic and East Siberia.
TNK-BP has reported it has signed an agreement with Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft to deliver oil into the Zapolyarnoye-Purpe pipeline, which will connect the company's Arctic deposits with the China-bound trunk.
The company's fields in the Yamal region are estimated to contain approximately 5 billion bbls of oil reserves and resources.
Connecting Russia's oil exports from the Arctic region with main Eastern and Western routes, the 600 km Zapolyarnoye-Purpe pipeline is due to be constructed in 2015 – 2016.
The pipeline is vital for TNK-BP's development of the Suzun and Tagul fields. Another link, Purpe-Samotlor, plugs Rosneft's Vankor oilfield, which produces around 300 000 bpd, into the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, slated for China.
Gazprom Neft, the oil division of Russia's gas exporting monopoly Gazprom, together with TNK-BP, is developing the Messoyakha oilfield, which will also deliver oil into the Arctic pipelines.
While its total upstream investments programme stands at around US$ 45 billion for the next 10 years, TNK-BP plans to start supplies of oil from new fields in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area and northern Krasnoyarsk region in 2016.
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