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Gazprom Neft commissions its “Yamal Gas” arctic subsea gas pipeline running through the Gulf of Ob to the Kara Sea

Press-release Technology Arctic Safety

Gazprom Neft has commissioned its Arctic subsea gas pipeline, connecting production facilities on the Yamal Peninsula to the Yamburg—Tula gas trunk pipeline. This pipeline, unique in terms of the technologies involved and the complexity of its construction, will transport gas from the Novoportovskoye field into Russia’s Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS). This company’s investments in this project stand at more than ₽150 billion. Commissioning the pipeline opens up opportunities for developing a major oil and gas cluster in the south of the Yamal Peninsula.

This new facility was launched by Alexander Novak (Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation) and Alexander Dyukov (CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft) via video link from St Petersburg, with Dmitry Artyukhov (Governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug) dialling in from Salekhard.

The 20-billion-cubic-metre (bcm) annual-capacity subsea Arctic gas pipeline is a key element in the major “Yamal Gas” investment project, aimed at ensuring the optimum use of all reserve types and categories at the Novoportovskoye field, and at ensuring cohesive and integrated resource-base development in the south of the Arctic Peninsula. A gas processing plant (for processing natural gas, condensate and APG) is also being built as part of this project.

The Yamal Gas project opens up opportunities for developing new fields in the south of the Yamal Peninsula, and for integrating these into a promising new cluster with potential production reaching up to 10 million tonnes of oil and 20 bcm of gas per year. Project infrastructure will ensure effective APG utilisation of up to 95%.

The high environmental standards on this new gas transportation infrastructure reflect the region’s unique climate, with the state-of-the-art technology used in building the pipeline guaranteeing its reliable and environmentally safe operation. The 58.4 km-long underwater section traversing the Gulf of Ob (the largest bay in the Kara Sea) has been laid five metres below the seabed, thus protecting the biosphere from noise, vibrations and electromagnetic pulses. The pipeline’s unique construction avoids any thawing of the permafrost, while underground siting and subsequent land reclamation will ensure local indigenous peoples’ traditional way of life is protected and preserved. The nearby Novy Port population centre is to be connected to the gas network during the course of this project.

“Gazprom Neft has been making a major contribution to developing the Arctic region for a number of years now. This uniquely complex project is not only facilitating field development: the laying of this gas pipeline (in compliance with all environmental standards) also means that instead of gas being reinjected into strata it can now feed into Russia’s Unified Gas Supply System. Natural gas will be sent to European Russia to supply major cities. Added to which, this project is generating additional tax revenues for the region, as well as creating an environment in which the company’s most cutting-edge technologies can be put to use.”
Alexander Novak
Alexander Novak Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
“The company has invested ₽150 billion in the Yamal Gas project. Developing new infrastructure means all of Novy Port’s resources — oil, condensate and gas — can be utilised to the greatest possible extent. Added to which, this project opens up new opportunities for developing a whole cluster of fields in the south and centre of the Yamal Peninsula, predominantly in terms of gas reserves. The Yamal Gas project also includes a major social component: we will be able to supply gas to the population centre around Novy Port, home to some 2,000 people. I’d also like to highlight the company’s high environmental standards in building this infrastructure. The underwater gas pipeline route, for example, has been designed to avoid fishes’ wintering grounds. A special coating on the pipeline means no electromagnetic pulses impacting fish, or their migratory routes. And burying the pipeline five metres below the seabed minimises noise and vibrations on all aquatic fauna in these waters. Preserving the Arctic’s unique ecosystem is an overriding priority for us in implementing all of our projects in this region.”
Alexander Dyukov
Alexander Dyukov Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft
“It’s important that Gazprom Neft’s projects are giving new life to our traditional fields, ensuring their development for many years to come. Establishing this new industrial cluster in the south of Yamal will ensure the sustainable development of our region. I am grateful to the company for its responsible attitude to environmental issues, and its commitment to the responsible use of natural resources. This is a priority in protecting the Arctic’s fragile natural environment.”
Dmitry Artyukhov
Dmitry Artyukhov Governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Notes for editors

The Novoportovskoye field is one of Gazprom Neft’s key projects in the Arctic, and one of the largest oil and gas condensate fields under development on the Yamal Peninsula. Field development on this project is unique in the oil and gas industry. Located in the Yamalsky District of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, 30 km from the coast of the Gulf of Ob, recoverable reserves stand at 248 million tonnes of oil and condensate, and 266 bcm of gas. A total 14.87 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) were produced in 2002, five percent higher than in 2019.

Full-scale production drilling at the Novoportovskoye field started in the summer of 2014. The “Arctic Gates” oil loading terminal, located in the waters of the Gulf of Ob, 3.5 km from the settlement of Cape Kammeny, was commissioned in May 2016, making it possible to transport oil all year round. Oil is delivered from the field to the coast through a pressure pipeline (with capacity for 8.9 million tonnes per year, and running to 100 km in length), before being loaded onto tankers from the terminal and despatched to customers via the Northern Sea Route.

The Arctic Gates facility means the highest possible industrial and environmental safety standards can be maintained, under Arctic conditions. The terminal stands at more than 80 metres high, is equipped with an automatic safety and oil-spill protection system, and is controlled remotely, without any on-site staff.

Oil produced at the Novoportovskoye field is unique in its characteristics, being designated a unique light low-sulphur oil (around 0.1%) and assigned its own grade — “Novy Port” crude.

A fleet capable of operating in Arctic latitudes has been built to order for Gazprom Neft, specifically for transporting this crude, with seven 42,000-tonne-deadweight Arc7 tankers and two Arc130A 8-class icebreakers (the Andrey Vilkitsky and the Aleksandr Sannikov) sailing under the Russian flag. These tankers are noted for their high manoeuvrability, can overcome ice up to 1.8 metres thick at the stern and up to 1.4 thick at the bow, and can navigate passages previously cleared by icebreakers. Each vessel is equipped with bow-loading gear allowing it to be attached to the terminal to receive oil.

The Andrey Vilkitsky and Aleksandr Sannikov icebreakers can operate at temperatures as low as −50°C. They ensure tankers’ safe approach to the Arctic Gates terminal, and can perform a wide range of tasks under challenging ice conditions, including mooring operations, towing, and protecting the terminal from the impacts of major ice loads.

A key feature of these icebreakers is their ability to run on “zero emissions”, with no risk to the environment. All solid and liquid wastes are stored onboard and recycled onshore, using specialist services.

The central processing facility (CPF) at the Novoportovskoye field is being expanded to become a fully-fledged gas processing plant as part of the Yamal Gas project, with capacity for 15-billion bcm of dry-stripped gas, up to one million tonnes of stable gas condensate, and 710,000 tonnes of natural gas liquids (NGLs) per year — all of which may be increased, going forward.

The gas pipeline runs to a total 115.5 km in length, with the subsea section (some 58.4 km) laid five metres below the seabed.