About the project

Sakhalin-1 is comprised of Russian, Japanese, Indian and American participants and is operated by Exxon Neftegas Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.


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About the project

Consortium members

Sakhalin-1 is an international consortium project comprised of the following participants:

  • Russian oil company Rosneft acting via its affiliates RN-Astra (8.5 %) and Sakhalinmorneftegas-Shelf (11.5 %);
  • Exxon Neftegas Limited, a subsidiary of U.S.-based ExxonMobil, is the operator and holds a 30% interest;
  • Japanese consortium SODECO holds a 30% interest;
  • Indian state-owned oil company ONGC Videsh Ltd. has 20%.


Of all the global projects ExxonMobil is involved with, Sakhalin-1 is one of the most challenging. The northeast Sakhalin offshore area lies at a considerable distance from the main production and logistic hubs and is in a seismically active region with a harsh climate.  In winter, temperatures fall below -40°C, wind speeds can reach 140 km/hr., and the sea freezes solid with two meters of ice.  Exxon Neftegas Limited is a recognized leader in the use of advanced technologies for developing offshore fields efficiently and safely in challenging conditions such as these.  Here are just a few examples.

Exxon Neftegas Limited performs drilling in various geological environments and under conditions that range widely from subarctic to deep water.  Developing oil and gas resources is a costly and complex process, and the company therefore uses the most advanced technologies that simplify operations, increase the average daily drilling rate, cut capital expenditure, and reduce environmental risks. Our extended reach drilling (ERD) techniques, fast drill process, and multilateral well drilling methods help us achieve precisely that.

Sakhalin-1 has drilled 9 of the world's 10 longest wells.  

Here is the timeline of records for drilling the world's longest wells:

  • April 2007. Well Z-11 – 11,282 m
  • January 2008. Well Z-12 – 11,680 m
  • January 2011. Well OP-11 – 12,345 m
  • July 2012. Well Z-44 – 12,376 m
  • April 2013. Well Z-43 – 12,450 m
  • June 2013. Well Z-42 – 12,700 m
  • March 2014. Well Z-40 – 13,000 m
  • April 2015. Well О-14 – 13,500 m
  • October 2017: O-5RD – 15,000 m (current world-record)

Extended reach drilling (ERD)

Enables wells to be drilled under the seafloor from a land-based wellsite towards oil and gas zones, thus greatly reducing environmental impacts and eliminating the need for large offshore structures such as platforms and pipelines.  ERD also allows reduction of capital expenditures and operating costs. 

The Yastreb land rig was engineered exclusively for Sakhalin-1 and is one of the most powerful land rigs in the industry. It is designed to drill extended reach wells to offshore targets from land-based locations. State-of-the-art Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) technology reduced the high capital and operating costs of large offshore structures and at the same time minimized the environmental impact in this sensitive near-shore area.


Multilateral drilling

Confined space on offshore platforms limits the number of drill slots where the wells are initiated. The solution is to use the multilateral drilling technology for drilling sidetracks from the main wellbore to penetrate additional oil and gas bearing formations.  Downhole smart equipment is used to manage wellstreams.  There can be several sidetrack wells, making a well in cross section to resemble a tree root system.  This ultimately increases oil recovery without increasing the number of surface drill slots.

Fastdrill™ process

The fast drill process was developed by ExxonMobil Upstream Development as a way of identifying and eliminating the rate-of-penetration limiters.  The process has now been introduced in all drilling departments of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Unique year-round oil transportation system

The Sakhalin 1 Project is the only project in Russia to successfully conduct year-round oil transportation without stopping for the winter season, when the sea is covered in ice.

The oil is transported by specially fabricated Aframax class tankers with a displacement of around 100,000 tonnes and a double hull.  Icebreakers are used to ensure the safety and stability of tanker navigation under winter ice conditions.  The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute provides data for ice forecasting and course plotting in winter. 

Oil is loaded onto the tankers using the world's largest single-point mooring system, located approximately 6 km offshore.  It weighs 2,300 tonnes, rises to a height of 60 meters above sea level, and stands in water 22 meters deep.  Ice-reinforced support vessels support tanker maneuvering and mooring operations.

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Drilling operations at the Odoptu field, located 75 kilometers north of the Chayvo field, were successfully undertaken from May 2009 through February 2011 utilizing the onshore Yastreb rig.

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Arkutun-Dagi Field: Berkut Offshore Platform

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Chayvo license block is being developed both from onshore and offshore facilities

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