New Method of Searching for Hydrocarbon Deposits in the Arctic


Photo: Andrei Pronin / AP

The development of oil and gas fields in the Arctic is difficult due to complex mining, geological and climatic conditions. Oil and gas production is costly for the companies operating in the Arctic compared to other oil and gas-bearing areas, which demands the development of new methods and technologies to keep costs down.

A new method of predicting and exploration of hydrocarbon deposits on the Arctic shelf, the so-called Isotope Geochemistry Method, was established by scientists of the V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, one of the oldest Russian research institutes.

The method is based on the analysis of the isotopic composition of helium and other noble gases released from the Earth's interior into bottom waters.

This method allows to identify the most promising areas for pre-exploration and further exploration drilling of oil and gas wells. Thus, the probability of the exploration drilling process leading to an exploration dry hole, a well that does not contain commercial quantities of hydrocarbons, is reduced twice. This method will allegedly reduce seismic exploration costs.

To learn more about hydrocarbon production methods in the Arctic, read the following material: From Past to Present: How Hydrocarbon Production Methods Change in Russia