16 June 2017, the night before the start of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, will see the transmission of a documentary — “Zenit — Prirazlomnaya: First in the Arctic” broadcast on national TV channel NTV, at 11.30 pm. The film relates the story of a unique football match, involving stars of the Russian Football Premier League, played in the Arctic Ocean. The idea for the film was inspired by an infamous historical event of 17 September 1962, when the first Soviet nuclear submarine, the K-3, reached the North Pole. And what was the first thing the submariners did once they landed on the ice? They played a game of football.
The football pitch for the more recent competition was created on one of the northernmost oil rigs in the world — the Prirazlomnaya platform, the first (and, thus far, the only) project on the Russian Arctic Shelf at which commercial oil production is currently ongoing.
The film, shot as reportage, is themed around pre-game training, cut-in with unique snapshots of the family lives of the Zenit players and life on the Prirazlomnaya rig, giving viewers a once-only opportunity to see the stars of Russian football in informal mode.
The film’s directors have tried to bring to light the more secret, “closed” aspects of the football world — from stadium preparation for mass sporting events, to the subtleties of providing security for landmark football matches. Viewers will also find out how oil is produced in the Arctic, as well as gaining insights into day-to-day life on a rig, including a drop-in visit to the Prirazlomnaya control centre, often compared to the Space Station in terms of its complexity.
The main heroes of the documentary are Zenit 2016 first-team players Alexander Kokorin, Yuri Lodygin, Artem Dzyuba, Yuri Zhirkov, Nicholas Lomberts, and former player and current Zenit coach Sergei Semak, as well as workers on the Prirazlomnaya rig. The match was a game of two halves, each of 15 minutes, between two five-a-side teams made up of Zenit players and Prirazlomnaya employees — one team comprising Artem Dzyuba and Nicholas Lomberts from Zenit, together with Alexei Utkin, Ildar Bikmukhametov, and Anton Byrylov from Prirazlomnaya, and the other Zenit players Alexander Kokorin, Yuri Zhirkov and Yuri Lodygin, playing with Andrei Starostoy and Maxim Dubrovin (with Dmitry Smykov as reserve). This unique match was referred by Sergei Semak.
The directors of the documentary were famous journalists Kirill and Victor Nabutov, with Kirill discussing Zenit’s life off the pitch, and Victor the secrets of life on Prirazlomnaya — Gazprom Neft’s flagship project on the Russian Arctic Shelf.
About the Prirazlomnaya offshore platform
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. More than four million tonnes of oil have, thus far, been produced from the Prirazlomnaya platform. The licence to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.
Initially discovered in 1989, 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 “Prirazlomnaya” ice-resistant offshore rig was designed specifically for development of this field, and is designed for use in the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions, as well as meeting the most stringent safety requirements and withstanding maximum ice loads.
All wells at the Prirazlomnoye field are located within the platform, the base of which then acts as a buffer between the well and the open sea — which can reach depths of up to 20 metres around the field. In addition to which, all wells are specially equipped to prevent the possibility of any uncontrolled emission of oil or gas. Oil storage at the platform involves “wet sump” methodology, preventing the ingress of oxygen into storage tanks, preventing the ingress of oxygen and the creation of potentially explosive conditions.
The offloading line for the pumping of oil to tankers is equipped with an emergency shut-down system, which is activated instantaneously. Emergency icebreaking vessels will be on permanent emergency standby around the platform, equipped with the latest oil-spill recovery equipment.
A “zero-emissions” system is in operation at the Prirazlomnaya rig, with drilling fluid, bit cuttings (“drilling sludge”) and other production waste all pumped into a special re-injection well.
About Zenit football club
The Zenit Football Club was established in 1925 at the Leningrad Metal Works i/n Stalin. Zenit is the only team in the country’s top division and representing St Petersburg to have won all of the national championship titles. In 2010 Zenit scored a “golden double” for the first time in its history, winning the championship and the Russian Cup in the same year. FC Zenit has won two international trophies for Russia — the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. Independent research puts Zenit’s total fanbase at 15.26 million.