The recent agreement between Russia and Norway regarding the border between the countries in the Barents Sea offers unprecedented opportunities for Norwegian-Russian cooperation in developing oil and gas fields. In this paper we summarize information about the agreed state borders in the former disputed ("grey") zone of the Barents Sea, see Figure 1, and suggest possible scenarios for the oil and gas fields’ development.
The "Grey Zone" area is about 175 thousand km2 in which, according to official estimates, is concentrated around 1% of world's undeveloped oil reserves. The resources of the former disputed territory are potentially about 410 million tons of oil and nearly 6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. According to preliminary estimates the largest deposit is the Fedynskoe field. Its resources are expected to be around 10-12 billion boe or but may potentially be as high as 18 billion boe.
The "Grey Zone" can be regarded as a key for development of hydrocarbons in. the Barents Sea area due to following circumstances: it has favorable environmental and geographical conditions such as being year-round ice free, relatively shallow water – 200-300 meters and short distance to shore about 100 km. Its location is appropriate for easy organization of export of oil and gas from the northern regions.
The financial costs of the development of the "Fedynskoe raising" (Fedyn Arch) will be significantly lower than in other Barents oil and gas areas further North or East. There might be huge interest by investors in this area. The investments on the Shtokman field development could be reduced taking into account the possibility of a joint infrastructure solution for these fields’ development.
It seems interesting to consider an integrated planning. In the present paper we are discussing possible options for development and arrangement of the Fedynskoe field in relation to scenarios of Shtokman field planning.
Despite the favorable ice conditions in this region we cannot exclude the possibility of drifting sea ice and icebergs. Taking into account the tendency of ice melting it is needed to maintain ice drift forecasting. Furthermore, polar low pressures and sea spray icing are important operational and design considerations.
An analysis of existing technical solutions and facilities gives ideas for creating extraordinary and sophisticated oil and gas centre(s) in the Barents Sea region.