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Almost three million barrels of arctic oil delivered to north-west Europe

The Kirill Lavrov tanker has delivered a new batch of ARCO arctic oil to Europe in its sixth shipment of oil. More than 2.9 million barrels of oil have been extracted from the Prirazlomnoye oil field since production began.

The Prirazlomnoye oil field. Pechora Sea.

The Kirill Lavrov and Mikhail Ulyanov Arc6 class double-hulled icebreaking oil tankers are certified to safely export crude oil from the Prirazlomnoye field. Both vessels, specifically designed for year-round oil transportation in arctic conditions from the Prirazlomnayaplatform, were built in the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg.

All vessels at the field are double acting, able to move through ice stern-first, improvingmobility and safety of passage in adverse arctic conditions. In addition to the ice-class tankers, the Prirazlomnoye transport system also includes two multifunctional icebreakers. This ensures uninterrupted supply and operation at the platform.

Gennady Lyubin, CEO of Gazprom Neft Shelf, said:

“We first extracted oil from the Prirazlomnoye platform less than 18 months ago. In this short period of time we have begun industrial scale production of crude oil and send regular shipments of oil to our customers. As we continue to increase production we remain committed to ensuring environmental and industrial safety in all operations at the Prirazlomnoye field.

Notes for editors

The Prirazlomnoye oil field is located in the Pechora Sea, 60km from the coast. Recoverable oil reserves exceed 70 million tonnes. The Prirazlomnoye field is the first, and as yet, only, oil producing field on the Russian arctic shelf. It is also the only project producing oil from a stationary platform in the Arctic.

ARCO oil is distinguished by its high density (roughly 24 API) and sulphur content of circa 2.3%, as well as low paraffin content. Relatively heavy compared to typical Russian export oil, ARCO is well suited for deep oil processing at refineries in north-western Europe. Unique chemicals used in road construction, tyre production, and in the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries can be produced from this oil.

Pilot production began at the oil field in December 2013. The new ARCO oil was first delivered to the global market in April 2014. The field produced about 300 thousand tonnes of oil in 2014 alone.  The field currently operates one exploration well. Plans are in place to begin operating an injection and a disposal well, and four additional exploration wells are to be drilled.

A unique ice-resistant platform was designed and built in Russia for the development of the field. It is designed to operate in extreme climatic conditions and is able to withstand maximum ice loads. The platform stands on the sea bed and its safety margin significantly surpasses actual loads.

The platform’s foundation walls are three metres thick. Wells are drilled within the platform, and are isolated from the open sea. The Prirazlomnaya platform operates on a principle of "zero discharge", meaning that no drilling or production waste comes into contact with the sea. Waste is pumped into special absorption wells or collected in tanks and delivered to the shore for disposal on land.

ARCO oil is sold in foreign markets under the Gazprom Neft Trading GmbH brand, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.

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