Image courtesy of Rosneft.

A joint venture between ExxonMobil and Russia’s Rosneft discovered a new oil field Saturday in the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area at its Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea just two weeks before Exxon has to halt work in Russia.

Drilling at the field was completed in record breaking time, taking about a month and a half.

Last week, ExxonMobil won an two week extension from the U.S Treasury Department to comply with U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia and wind down its operations in the Kara Sea.

The new deadline for ExxonMobil to halt work at its $600 million Kara Sea joint venture project with Rosneft is October 10.

The sea depth at the drilling site is about 265 feet, with the depth of the straight well at 6,932 feet.

Data from the well is currently being analyzed and the field’s development model is being worked on.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said light oil was extracted from the well and that the sample is comparable to Siberian Light oil.

The resource base estimate at the field is 338 billion cubic meters of gas and more than 100 million tons of oil.

The field will be called Pobeda.

“This is an outstanding result of the first exploratory drilling on a completely new offshore field,” Sechin said.

The Universitetskaya-1 well is part of a $3.2 billion joint venture between ExxonMobil and Rosneft that includes plans to drill at 40 prospects by the end of 2018.

The block covers 49,000 square miles and could contain up to 9 billion barrels of oil.

Universitetskaya-1 could be worth as much as $900 billion.

Official estimates put Kara Sea reserves at around 36 billion barrels of oil.


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