Gazprom Neft’s development of a year-round logistics strategy for shipping and transporting oil from its Novy Port field is now complete — the final stage of the project, which has taken four years to implement, being the commissioning of the company’s second icebreaker Andrei Vilkitsky for duty, coupled with the launch of the company’s “Kapitan (Captain)” digital Arctic logistics management system — the first such system in the world.*
The key element in this unique transport system is the Arctic Gates terminal, positioned in the waters of the Gulf of Ob — the only oil terminal in the world operating in fresh water and under challenging ice conditions. The commissioning of this facility in 2016 it has made it possible to ensure year-round shipments of Novy Port oil from the Novoportovskoe field. Twelve oil-shipment options were considered on initial implementation of this project, including shipments by rail and pressure-pipeline, with concept design alone needing two years. Delivery of hydrocarbons by maritime transport, via the Northern Sea Route, proved the most viable option, making it possible to bring the field — initially discovered in the early 1960s — into production.
The unique conditions of the Gulf of Ob required the company to develop its own tanker and icebreaker fleet, capable of operating in shallow waters. Six Shturman Arc7 ice-class tankers, independently capable of breaching ice up to 2.5 metres thick, were built to order for Gazprom Neft to deliver oil to a floating storage vessel in the Kola Bay. In addition to this, two
Total investment in developing the Novoportovskoye field since project implementation was first started now stands at more than RUB300 billion: during which time 11 infrastructure facilities have been implemented, and more than 15 million tonnes of oil produced.
Vadim Yakovlev, First Deputy CEO, Gazprom Neft, commented: “For decades no one could access the rich fields in Yamal precisely because of the lack of transport infrastructure. Having found the one viable route for transporting Arctic oil, and having developed an effective logistics strategy, we have not only made possible the development of the Novoportovskoye field, but have also ‘mapped out’ a major new oil province. We’re now talking about promising projects both on the Yamal Peninsula, and in neighbouring districts of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. On that basis, the development of transport infrastructure, in particular, has become central to the development of a federal-level production centre — and this, in turn, is giving additional impetus to the development of the Arctic region.”Vadim Yakovlev First Deputy CEO, Gazprom Neft
Dmitry Artyukhov, Governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, added: “We are delighted that the company has been able to successfully implement so important a project as developing an Arctic-oil logistics strategy in Yamal. Infrastructure construction is the linchpin in addressing the strategic objective of developing the Arctic. Without putting in place reliable transport links it just isn’t possible to develop new and promising fields, which are, predominantly, located in the north of the Okrug. Projects by major companies are facilitating not just the development of the region, but of the entire country. Yamal paid more than RUB1 trillion in taxes to the federal budget last year.”Dmitry Artyukhov Governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
The Novoportovskoe field is one of the most significant oil and gas fields currently under development on the Yamal Peninsula. Located 30 kilometres form the coast of the Gulf of Ob, recoverable C1 and C2 reserves stand at more than 250 million tonnes of oil and condensate, and more than 320 billion cubic metres of gas. Gazpromneft-Yamal produced and transported 7.1 million tonnes of Novy Port oil in 2018, transporting it via the Northern Sea Route.
* The innovative “Kapitan (Captain)” project has been developed to ensure uninterrupted year-round shipments of all ARCO and Novy Port crude produced, and to improve efficiency in logistics management. This analytical system makes use of various information sources, including daily production volumes at Gazprom Neft’s Novoportovskoe and Prirazlomnoe fields, total cumulative oil stocks, the position and movement of vessels, data on en-route ice conditions, tidal graphs, weather conditions, and scope for developing new market standards in crude supplies (“delivery lots”). The Kapitan system allows integrated analysis of the fleet’s operational efficiency, route speed estimates, fuel consumption and vessel load volumes to be undertaken in real time, as well as allowing online monitoring of vessels’ locations and movements, cargo handling, routes and icebreaker support. Implementing the system has significantly reduced lead times in planning and coordinating oil shipment operations and optimising transportation costs. The core objective of the new system is to manage logistics in the Arctic safely, and to ensure that all oil produced is despatched at the lowest possible cost.