Gazprom Neft produces its 10 millionth tonne of oil at Prirazlomnoye
Gazprom Neft Shelf has produced its 10-millionth tonne of oil at its Prirazlomnoye field — a fact confirmed by Andrey Patrushev, Deputy CEO for Offshore Development, Gazprom Neft, at this year’s International Arctic Forum.
Unique technological and logistical solutions mean oil is being produced, stored, shipped and transported all year round under the ultra-challenging environmental and climatic conditions of the waters of the Arctic. The Prirazlomnaya offshore platform is set directly on the sea bed — something that enables it to withstand storm winds, waves up to nine metres high, and ice floes up to two metres thick. The sea-depth around the platform’s location reaches up to 20 metres.
December 2018 marks five years since commercial production started at the Prirazlomnaya platform — Russia’s first project on the Arctic Shelf. Seventeen wells have been drilled at the field since then, including the longest well drilled in the company’s history, at 6,474 metres. Construction of two further wells is expected to be completed before the end of 2019. Well stock is expected to increase over the next few years to reach projected level of 32. The average depth of oil-bearing strata at the field is 2,500 metres. Peak production volumes at the Prirazlomnoye field are expected to reach 4.8 million tonnes per year.
The landmark ten-millionth tonne of oil will be shipped by the Mikhail Ulyanov Arctic shuttle tanker which, alongside the Kirill Lavrov tanker, ensures year-round oil shipments from the field. Following transportation to the Umba storage tanker, road-mounted in the non-freezing waters of the Kola Bay near Murmansk, ARCO-blend oil (Arctic oil) is sent to Europe in standard tanker shipments.
“The 10-millionth tonne of oil produced today at the Prirazlomnoye field, together with platform’s five years’ uninterrupted commercial usage under the most challenging weather conditions, confirms our leadership in the commercial development of the Arctic Shelf. During that time we have also been able to prove it is possible for nature and oil and gas infrastructure to co-exist safely. We will be using the unique experience Gazprom Neft has gained at the Prirazlomnoye field in our work on the company’s other offshore projects.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Prirazlomnoye field is the first — and, thus far, the only — field on the Russian Arctic Shelf at which oil production is being undertaken (commercial production having begun in December 2013). The first consignments of a new Russian “Arctic Oil (ARCO)” were despatched from the platform in April 2014.
The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the south—east of the Barents Sea, 60 kilometres offshore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 79 million tonnes. The licence to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.
The ice-resistant Prirazlomnaya offshore rig was designed and constructed in Russia specifically for development of this field, and is capable of handling all technological operations — drilling, production, storage, and processing and offloading of the finished product. The Prirazlomnaya rig is designed for use in the Arctic region, under the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions: meeting the most stringent safety requirements, it is capable of withstanding maximum ice loads.
Year-round shipments are undertaken by 70,000-tonne double-hulled ice-class (Arc6) oil tankers, the Mikhail Ulyanov and the Kirill Lavrov. Both vessels were built at the Admiralty Shipyards, St Petersburg specifically for year-round oil transportation from the Prirazlomnaya rig, and are owned by Sovkomflot, under long-term leases to Gazprom Neft Shelf. Both tankers, forming part of the project’s vessel support group, are “double-action” vessels, meaning they are able to move stern-foremost under ice conditions, delivering additional manoeuvrability under challenging ice conditions.