The Mikhail Ulyanov tanker has delivered the twelfth consignment of ARCO oil to European customers. On which basis, the total volume of crude exported by Gazprom Neft since the commencement of commercial production at Prirazlomnoye now stands at 800,000 tonnes.
The Kirill Lavrov and the Mikhail Ulyanov are both double-hulled ice-class (Arc6) oil tankers, able to guarantee the safe delivery of crude produced at the Prirazlomnaya stationary platform in the Arctic Sea. Both were built at the Admiralty Shipyards, St Petersburg, specifically to ensure the year-round transportation of oil produced at the platform under Arctic conditions. In total, more than 70 tanker consignments of ARCO oil are expected to be shipped to European customers between 2015 and 2017.
Production at the Prirazlomnoye field is proceeding in complete accordance with Gazprom Neft’s schedule for development of the project. In 2014, following drilling of a production well, a total 300,000 tonnes of crude were produced at the field. In 2015, thanks to a second production well being commissioned, production is up more than twofold. More than 1,700,000 tonnes of oil are expected to be produced at the Prirazlomnoye field in 2016.
Gennady Lubin, Executive Director, Gazpromneft Shelf, commented: “Our key tasks now are maintaining momentum in development, and increasing production. Production at the Prirazlomnoye field is proceeding according to schedule. The volume of oil produced in 2015 will, as planned, more than double in comparison with last year’s figures.”
The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 kilometres from the shore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 70 million tonnes. The Prirazlomnoye field is the first — and, thus far, the only — field on the Russian Arctic Shelf at which oil production is being undertaken, and the only project in the world in which Arctic production is being undertaken on a stationary platform.
Field development has required the construction of a unique ice-resistant platform, designed and constructed in Russia and intended for use in the most extreme climatic conditions as well as being able to withstand maximum ice-loads. The platform is anchored to the seabed, and the safety standards thereon far exceed any requirements likely to arise, in real terms.
With the platform walls some three metres thick, the drilling of wells within this will ensure full isolation from the surrounding environment. A “zero emissions” system has been integrated into the platform to prevent the discharge of any production or drilling waste into the sea.
Production — under pilot testing of the Prirazlomnaya platform — commenced in December 2013, with the first consignments of the new Russian “Arctic Oil (ARCO)” being despatched from the platform in April 2014.
Altogether, the project envisages 36 wells being brought into production, including 19 production wells, 16 service wells, and one absorption well. All wells at the Prirazlomnaya platform are being drilled by directional drilling, to a total extent of between 4,000 and 8,000 metres.
The project is being managed by Gazpromneft Shelf, with export of ARCO oil handled by Gazpromneft Trading GmbH — both of which are subsidiaries of Gazprom Neft.