Gazpromneft Sakhalin, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft and project operator for the exploration and development of Dolginskoye field located on the arctic shelf of the Pechora Sea, has begun preparing for the drilling of an exploration well in 2014. To this end, the company chartered the GSP Saturn jackup drilling rig owned by the Romanian company Grup Servicii Petroliere S.A. (GSP), in late 2013.
There are plans to drill the well, test promising horizons, and take core samples for laboratory study at Dolginskoye field during the ice-free months of 2014. The sea depth is approximately 40 meters at the point of drilling, while the design depth of the well is 3,500 meters, and the minimum distance from the site of drilling operations to the shore is 75 kilometers.
The GSP Saturn jackup drilling rig was completely renovated in 2009, which included the installation of modern drilling and ship equipment, as well as special preparation for operations in northern latitudes under substantial wind and wave loads and with negative external temperatures. Since 2009, the GSP Saturn jackup drilling rig has had a permit from the Netherlands and Denmark for the conduct of drilling operations on the shelf of the North Sea, which testifies to the platform meeting current international standards of occupational and environmental safety. In 2013, the platform performed drilling operations in the North Sea as part of one of the Wintershall projects.
Relying on the best world practices, Gazpromneft Sakhalin, in addition to the studies it has already completed, has also conducted a number of specialized technical audits of the drilling rig both by internal auditors and also by the independent auditing company Lloyd’s Register Drilling Integrity Services (International) B.V., the world leader in the conduct of independent technical inspections of offshore drilling rigs. After studying the level of the platform’s compliance with the requirements and rules for safe conduct of drilling operations in the Pechora Sea, the audit company confirmed that GSP Saturn is a high-technology rig, and its specifications are sufficient for operation on Russia’s arctic shelf during the ice-free months of the year.
At present, the GSP Saturn is undergoing a regular planned certification by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a classification society. That organization provides technical supervision over the building, repair, and operation of sea vessels, and it also classifies them and inspects them to establish their compliance with safe navigation standards.
Gazpromneft Sakhalin LLC is a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft and has experience in implementing projects on the Russian continental shelf. In autumn 2012, JSC Gazprom and Gazpromneft Sakhalin executed a contract for geological exploration work and the industrial development and operation of Dolginskoye oil field on the shelf of the Pechora Sea.
Dolginskoye oil field, located in the central part of the Pechora Sea, 120 kilometers south of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and 110 kilometers north of the shore of the Eurasian continent, was discovered in 1999. The depth of the sea in the area of the field ranges