Initially discovered in 1989, the Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 kilometres from the shore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 70 million tonnes. Its development has required the installation of a the “Prirazlomnaya” offshore rig, designed for use in the most extreme climatic and environmental conditions, fully compliant with the latest safety standards, and able to withstand maximum ice-loads.
Prirazlomnoye is the only project on the Russian Arctic Shelf at which commercial oil production is currently ongoing. Active development of the project commenced in mid‑2013 with the drilling of the first well in the summer of that year, and the Prirazlomnaya ice-resistant offshore rig commencing production in December 2013. This new Russian oil has been named “Arctic Oil (ARCO)”, with the first consignments from Prirazlomnoye commencing in April 2014.
All wells to be drilled at Prirazlomnaya will be located within the platform, the base of which then acts as a buffer between the well and the open sea — which can reach depths of up to 20 metres around the field. In addition to which, all wells are specially equipped to prevent the possibility of any uncontrolled emission of oil or gas. Oil storage at the platform involves “wet sump” methodology, preventing the ingress of oxygen into storage tanks (located at the base of the platform) to prevent the creation of potentially explosive conditions.
The offloading line for the pumping of oil to tankers is equipped with an emergency shut-down system, which is activated instantaneously. Emergency icebreaking vessels will be on permanent emergency standby around the platform, equipped with the latest oil-spill recovery equipment.
A “zero-emissions” system is in operation at the Prirazlomnaya rig, with drilling fluid, bit cuttings (“drilling sludge”) and other production waste all pumped into a special re-injection well.