Russia's Rosneft and its partner Eni has spudded the Maria-1 exploration well offshore in the Black Sea. The forecasted oil in place for Zapadno-Chernomorskaya licence area is estimated to exceed 570 million tons.
The well depth is 6,126 meters with the water depth at the drilling site exceeding 2,000 meters. Drilling preparations included acquisition of more than 4,000 kilometers of 2D seismic and over 3,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data together with integrated geotechnical surveys.
“The Black sea has significant oil & gas potential, but yet not a single well has been drilled in the deep water Russian offshore. Indicated geological traps are located at the areas with the sea depth exceeding 2,000 km. Currently we assume that the forecasted oil in place for the license area is around 600 million of tons," said Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin.
The well was drilled by Scarabeo-9 semisubmersible rig operated by Italy's Saipem.
Sechin added: "Upon completion of additional works and technical studies the Company plans to refine and possibly increase the potential geological resources appraisal. State of the art technologies and equipment in combination with vast experience provided by world leading oil & gas majors and service providers are being employed at the Project. This opens a new phase in the Black sea offshore development in cooperation with our strategic partner."
The Zapadno-Chernomorskaya Area E&A Project is being implemented by a joint venture between Rosneft and Eni (Rosneft has a 66.67 per cent, Eni has the remaining 33.33 per cent stake).