The 12-millionth tonne of “ARCO” (Arctic-blend) oil has now been produced and shipped from Gazprom Neft’s Prirazlomnaya offshore platform, delivered by the Kirill Lavrov ice-class shuttle tanker to the Kola Bay, where the Umba storage tanker is harboured, and from where it will be shipped, in standard batches, to Europe.
The Prirazlomnoye field is the first — and, thus far, the only — project at which oil is being produced on the Russian Arctic Shelf. Commercial development of this field has seen 18 wells drilled, with construction of the 19th due for completion in the immediate future.
Safe year-round oil shipments from the Prirazlomnoye field, and effective logistical project support in the freezing Barents Sea, are ensured through the ice management system the company has in place here — a further key element of which will be the Ice Situation Management Centre currently being put in place. Using specially developed software, this centre will receive and analyse data generated from regional and local monitoring of hydro-meteorological and ice conditions. The use of self-learning mathematical models will facilitate the development of more accurate weather forecasts of weather shipping opportunities (“shipping windows”) and make it possible to identify potentially dangerous ice formations at an early stage. All information received and processed, together with online expert recommendations, will be available to captains responsible for managing the platform, tankers and support-vessels.
«Prirazlomnoye is in active development. We are continuing to increase well stock at this field, and increasing cumulative oil production volumes. The cutting-edge technologies deployed by the company, together with unique logistical solutions, are making it possible to drill wells all year round, and to produce oil and ship it, even in the most challenging ice conditions. With more than five years under continuous production the Prirazlomnoye field is demonstrating the considerable potential of further offshore projects in the Arctic».Sergei Chigay Acting CEO, Gazprom Neft Shelf
The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the south—east of the Barents Sea, 60 kilometres offshore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 79 million tonnes. The licence to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft. Commercial production at this field started in December 2013. The first consignments of a new Russian “Arctic Oil (ARCO)” were launched on the global market in April 2014. Gazprom Neft produced its 10-millionth tonne of oil at the Prirazlomnoye field in April 2019.
The ice-resistant Prirazlomnaya offshore rig was designed and constructed in Russia specifically for development of this field, and is capable of handling all technological operations — drilling, production, storage, and processing and offloading of the finished product. The Prirazlomnaya rig is designed for use in the Arctic region, under the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions: meeting the most stringent safety requirements, it is capable of withstanding maximum ice loads.
Year-round shipments are undertaken by 70,000-tonne double-hulled ice-class (Arc6) oil tankers, the Mikhail Ulyanov and the Kirill Lavrov. Both vessels were built at the Admiralty Shipyards, St Petersburg specifically for year-round oil transportation from the Prirazlomnaya rig, and are owned by Sovkomflot, under long-term leases to Gazprom Neft Shelf.