December 4 saw the opening of the biggest ice arena in Yamal — the Avangard Hockey Academy, Tarko-Sale, constructed by Gazprom Neft as part of a major inter-regional project to construct region-wide hockey training facilities for children and young people. The opening was attended by Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov and Governor of the Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Area, Dmitry Kobylkin.
The ice arena is the first branch of what will ultimately become the Avangard Ice Hockey Academy. The aim of this project is to establish a network of training facilities for children and teenagers, throughout various regions of Russia. The Academy is being established under the auspices of the Avangard Ice Hockey Club (Omsk Region).
The complex has no peer anywhere in Yamal, either in terms of size or facilities, and is the only Olympic-sized ice arena in the region, with equipment and re-freezing facilities to ensure an optimum surface quality at all times. The 9,000m3 building also houses a multi-purpose sports hall, several gyms, and group-class facilities. Coaches from Omsk are expected to begin organizing children’s training groups within the next few months.
Over the next two years branches of the Academy will be built in two other Yamal cities, Noyabrsk and Muravlenko.
Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov commented: “Today sees the opening of the first ice complex of what will become a series of ice hockey centers for children and young people, built under a joint program between Gazprom Neft and the Government of the Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Area. Yamal itself has become our key partner in establishing the Avangard Ice Hockey Academy branch network, which will ensure consistent training and education, selection principles and sports technologies, under a single brand. The best trainees from each branch will be able to continue training at the Academy’s center in Omsk, construction of which is due to commence next year.”
Governor Dmitry Kobylkin added: “Those multi-purpose ice complexes being built with Gazprom Neft’s support as part of its Native Cities CSR program will promote not only ice hockey, but other sports as well, all of which will greatly improve the quality of life in Yamal. Most of Gazprom Neft’s oil production currently takes place in Yamal. We appreciate the company’s contribution to the region’s social development. Yamal and Gazprom Neft have a number of key objectives in common, and we intend to continue our cooperation here.”
The city of Tarko-Sale was founded in 1933 as the administrative center of the Purovsksy District, Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Area. The district has a population of 52,000, 30,000 of whom live in Tarko-Sale. Surrounded by marshland and taiga forests, the city’s only links with many communities during the summer are by river transport and helicopters and, in winter, roads over frozen water and land. Winter lasts from October through May. The average annual temperature is —7oC.
Since the middle of the last century Tarko-Sale has been major center for geological prospecting and the development of the mineral resources of the Far North. Today the district accounts for 45 percent of all gas and 80 percent of oil and condensate produced in Yamal. Approximately 120 fields have been developed in the area, with commercially viable reserves of about 18 trillion cubic meters of gas and 6 billion tons of liquid hydrocarbons. These are currently being developed by some of the most significant industry players, including Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz and Gazpromneft —Muravlenko.