Gazprom to Drill One Well at Yuzhno-Kirinskoye

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Gazprom will drill one well only at best at the blacklisted Yuzhno-Kirinskoye offshore gas field this year, a source close to the project has told Energy Intelligence. The state-run natural gas corporation remains silent about the field's drilling schedule, but work is expected to decelerate due to a lack of subsea gas production equipment required to complete wells (NC Apr.15'21). Yuzhno-Kirinskoye is a potential resource base for pipeline gas exports to China and/or Sakhalin-2 LNG plant expansion. The field was blacklisted by the US in 2015, which closed Gazprom’s access to Western subsea production technology. Gazprom is now waiting for domestic alternatives to put in commercial production. Gazprom insists that plans to start production from the 21 Bcm/yr field in 2023 remain unchanged, but the source said the launch date will likely be moved at a later stage. Gazprom considers launching the field with fewer production wells than initially planned, meaning the field will produce less at the early stage of operations and will ramp up slower. The current plan is to reach the plateau in 2029-32. Gazprom has so far drilled 12 production wells at the field but without reaching the deposit. In total, the company plans to drill 37 production wells at Yuzhno-Kirinskoye. With two offshore rigs -- Polar Star and Northern Lights -- Gazprom drilled four wells a year in 2018-20, although last year it had planned to drill six wells. This year only Polar Star is expected to work at Yuzhno-Kirinskoye, while Northern Lights will drill in the Kara Sea in the Arctic.

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