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Gazprom Neft icebreakers begin year-round support for Arctic oil shipments

Two new-generation icebreakers, the Andrey Vilkitsky and Alexander Sannikov, built to order for Gazprom Neft, have begun joint operations in the Arctic — their working in tandem enhancing a unique logistical strategy to ensure the year-round transportation of Arctic oil from the Arctic Gates terminal to a floating oil terminal in the Kola Bay, from which hydrocarbons are then delivered to the global market in standard tanker consignments.

The Andrey Vilkitsky icebreaker near the Arctic Gates transshipment terminal

The Andrey Vilkitsky completed its journey along the Northern Sea Route to join its sister ship the Alexander Sannikov in January. Under this logistics strategy the two icebreakers are responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the tanker fleet around the Arctic Gates terminal, responsible for ensuring year-round oil shipments from the Novoportovskoye field — Gazprom Neft’s rapidly developing Arctic asset, production at which has increased by 40 percent over the past year.

The Andrey Vilkitsky’s journey from the Port of Murmansk to the Arctic Gates terminal, via the Northern Sea Route.

The Andrey Vilkitsky and the Alexander Sannikov ensure tankers’ safe access to the Arctic terminal, and are equipped to fulfil a wide range of tasks under challenging ice-bound conditions including mooring operations, towing, and protecting the Arctic Gates terminal from sudden ice impacts.

Infographic: Oil transportation from the Novoportovskoye field

Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev commented: “Arctic exploration already makes up more than 20 percent of the company’s oil production. Gazprom Neft’s development strategy to 2030 is strongly focussed on developing this region: so it is extremely important that we expand our logistical capacity. Having our own icebreakers guarantees the uninterrupted and efficient functioning of our Arctic-oil transportation strategy, which is creating new opportunities for developing fields in this region.”
Vadim Yakovlev
Vadim Yakovlev Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO
Notes for editors

The “Time of the Arctic” programme covers Gazprom Neft’s activities in the Arctic, including developing the Novoportovskoye field, the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea (oil is being produced from the Prirazlomnaya platform), and the Messoyakha field — the northernmost continental field in Russia. A unique project has been put in place to ensure the year-round transportation of the oil produced, over the Northern Sea Route. These outstanding achievements are not just the result of cutting-edge technologies, the development of Arctic infrastructure and increasing hydrocarbon production. The development of the Arctic involves a major social and humanitarian element, which is becoming an integral part of the programme. This includes environmental initiatives, directed at preserving the unique Arctic ecosystem , and animal world, social initiatives to protect the ethnic minorities of the Russian Far North, and joint projects with.