Gazpromneft Shelf, a subsidiary company of Gazprom Neft, has commissioned the first absorption (reinjection) well at the Prirazlomnoye field in the Barents Sea, on which it is leading development. Consistent with the field development plan, this will be used for the re-injection of waste materials produced during well construction (drilling mud, waste water and drilling cuttings).
Injection will take place into strata above the production horizon, ensuring its protection from higher and underlying layers. The absorption well will optimise the recycling of industrial wastes, which will now be utilised directly at the field with no negative environmental impacts.
A “zero emissions” system has been integrated into the platform to prevent the discharge of any production or drilling waste into the sea, with waste, instead, re-injected directly into the strata, or transported onshore for recycling.
Two production wells are currently in operation at the field, together with one injection well. The project envisages the commissioning of a total 32 wells. More than 10 million barrels of oil have now been produced at the Prirazlmnoye field since the start of production.
Gennady Lubin, Executive Director, Gazpromneft Shelf, commented: “The absorption well significantly improves the security, manageability and cost-effectiveness of the project. Making possible the direct recycling of waste directly on the platform, with no impact on the environment, is its main purpose. Added to which, we are reducing costs by transporting waste onshore.”
The Prirazlomnoye project is the first in the world involving oil production on the Arctic Shelf. Commercial development of the project commenced in December 2013. The new “ARCO” oil produced at the Prirazlomnoye field was first launched on the international market in April 2014: 22 million barrels (about 300,000 tonnes) have since been produced in the first year of the field’s commercial development.
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 licence holder is Gazpromneft Shelf LLC.
An ice-resistant offshore rig, “Prirazlomnaya”, was designed and constructed (in Russia), specifically for development of this field, capable of handling all technological operations — drilling, production, storage, and the preparation and offloading of the finished product. It is designed for use in the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions, meets the most stringent safety requirements, and can withstand maximum ice loads.
All wells to be drilled at Prirazlomnaya will be located within the platform, the base of which then acts as a buffer between the well and the open sea. In addition to which, all of the wells are specially equipped to prevent the possibility of any uncontrolled emission of oil or gas. The offloading line for the pumping of oil to tankers is equipped with an emergency shut-down system, which is activated instantaneously.