Rosneft and ExxonMobil find oil with their $700m Arctic well.

FT: “Russia’s top crude oil producer Rosneft confirmed on Saturday that it has made an oil discovery with ExxonMobil at their controversial joint well in the Arctic.”
The Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea has become emblematic of Russia’s ambitions to develop its enormous Arctic oil development in the face of western sanctions.
….The $700m well has been one of the most closely watched projects in the oil industry, as geologists believe that the Arctic is the last great unexploited resource. The discovery of “liquids” – industry terminology for oil and condensed gas – is positive since there had been concerns that the drilling campaign may have hit only natural gas, a far less profitable find.
Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s chief executive and a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, said earlier this month that the company could invest $400bn in the Arctic in the next 15 years. “We expect to open a new oil province there, with reserves comparable to the developed reserves of Saudi Arabia,” he told Der Spiegel.
In a pointed comment on Saturday, Mr Sechin, himself subject to US sanctions, described the find as “our united victory”. “It was achieved thanks to our friends and partners from ExxonMobil, Nord Atlantic Drilling, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford, Baker, Trendsetter, FMC,” he said.
Mr Sechin said the field would be called Pobeda — meaning Victory. He added that the estimated resource base of the “trap” that the drilling had discovered was over 100m tonnes (about 750m barrels) of high-quality light oil and 338bn cubic metres of gas.
However, people familiar with the project cautioned that the results from the first well were not conclusive. “They’ve drilled one well in a huge area, so you can’t make any definitive statement,” said one person briefed on the drilling.
….The crew on the rig that drilled the Kara Sea discovery has been sealing the well so that it can safely be abandoned. Exxon was given a short extension by the Treasury to continue work after the deadline, to give time for the well to be made secure.”