Prirazlomnoye project celebrated in series of commemorative stamps

A new issue of postage stamps — part of the “Russian Sea Fleet” series — has been dedicated to the Prirazlomnoye project (the only oil field currently under development on the Russian Arctic Shelf), with the Prirazlomnaya platform and the Mikhail Ulyanov Arctic tanker (the first to transport Arctic oil from the field) illustrated on Russian stamps for the first time.

With a total circulation of 160,000, the stamps (in denominations of 19 rubles) have been issued to mark the first anniversary of the commencement of crude oil shipments from the Prirazlomnoye oilfield. Designed by the Marka state engineering centre, the stamps are a continuation of the “Russian Sea Fleet” series initiated in 2013. An illustrated envelope, with a nautical theme, has also been issued to coincide with publication of the stamps.

The stamps and envelopes, which show the Prirazlomnaya platform and the Mikhail Ulyanov Arctic tanker, can be obtained at all post offices throughout Russia and, on the first day of issue — 23 September — will be stamped with special postmarks in Moscow and St Petersburg.

The Prirazlomnoye oilfield (with recoverable reserves estimated at more than 70 million tonnes) is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 kilometres from the shore. Field development has required the construction of a unique ice-resistant platform, designed and constructed in Russia. The platform is anchored to the seabed, and designed for use in the most extreme climatic conditions, as well as being able to withstand maximum ice-loads. With its 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.

The Mikhail Ulyanov Arctic shuttle tanker has deadweight of 70,000 tonnes and is a double-hulled ice-class (Arc6) tanker, constructed at the Admiralty Shipyards, St Petersburg. The tanker is a double action vessel, using a forward bow movement in clear waters and a forward stern movement in ice. The vessel is equipped with two Azipod thrusters (propulsion steering units), a dynamic positioning system, a helipad, and a bow-loading facility for use in Arctic conditions. The vessel is able to break ice up to 1.2m thick without the need of an icebreaker escort.