Initiated in February 2015, Gazprom Neft has now completed its first winter shipments of oil from the Novoportovskoye field, becoming the first company in the Russian oil and gas sector to despatch oil from Yamal by sea under winter conditions. Seven tankers, carrying a total 110,000 tonnes of the company’s new “Novy Port” oil, were despatched. All crude despatched during the winter season has been sold to end-users in north-western Europe, with all payments made in rubles.
Facilitating such a major commercial consignment of oil under winter conditions necessitated the development of a unique scheme for loading and transportation by tankers specially upgraded for extreme winter temperatures, towed by nuclear-powered icebreakers. Ice-breaking services for the Gazprom Neft convoy along the Northern Sea route were provided by Atomflot.
Plans for the winter transportation of oil by ocean-going tankers on a temporary basis passed an environmental impact assessment and were approved through public consultations in December 2014. Equipment used in the pumping process is fully authorised and certified by the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service, Rostechnadzor. Repeated specialist training exercises for the drilling of emergency rescue teams were undertaken prior to the commencement of despatch operations.
Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov commented: “The long-term strategy of Gazprom Neft envisages increasing production at fields in the far north, both on- and offshore. These projects are under active development and, in as little as a few years, will account for a major proportion of the company’s production volumes. We continue to develop technical, logistical and marketing solutions unique to Russia’s oil and gas industry, which have not only allowed us — on schedule — to begin year-round commercial production at the Novoportovskoye field, but which are also resulting in a proportional rise in export earnings in rubles.”
The Novoportovskoye field is one of the most significant oil and gas condensate fields currently under development in the Yamal Peninsula. It is located within the Arctic Circle, some distance from pipeline transportation infrastructure: shipments by sea from Cape Kammeny have been identified as the optimum solution for the transportation of crude, in these circumstances. The first opportunity for despatching oil by sea during the winter season was confirmed by Gazprom Neft as early as 2011, following a pilot voyage by an icebreaker from the port of Sabetta (in the north-east of the Yamal peninsula) to Cape Kammeny.
Oil is currently transported to the coast through a
In January the company commenced construction of the second section of this pressure pipeline which will, ultimately, allow the transportation of up to 5.5 million tonnes of oil per year. Once pipeline capacity has been increased, and construction of an oil-loading terminal completed, transportation of oil from Novy Port by sea will take place year-round.
The characteristics of the new crude (which has been given the name “Novy Port”) place it in the “average” category, with lower sulphur content (at around 0.1 percent) than the Urals blend.
Transportation of the oil from the field has been made with leased tankers; marketing of all oil on the European market has been handled by Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazprom Neft Trading GmbH.
- Novy Port photo gallery: