Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya Platform Ready to Drill

By Elena Zhuk, July 2, 2013

EXCLUSIVE, Moscow. The Prirzlomnaya oil platform working off shore in the Pechora Sea, is ready to commence drilling. "Within the next 10 days, test drilling will begin under load as part of the first launch of the platform", Gazprom Neft Shelf Executive Director Gennadiy Lyubin told journalists today.

Lyubin said that in 2013, production would be about 140,000 tons of oil. Peak production is expected to come six years after drilling operations begin.

By the end of 2013, the company plans to "put the well well to work" and begin drilling its next well. The project envisions a total of 36 wells. Two ice-class equipment vessels will be involved in work at Prirazlomnaya as well as two ice-class tankers. So far, 100 billion roubles has already been invested into the project. Of that amount, 60-65 billion roubles was spent on the platform.

The launch of the Prirazlomnaya platform has been delayed several times. Company representatives said that moving the start of drilling is tied "to the amount of work needed to attract foreign experts to confirm that the platform meets safety requirements in both construction and readiness for use". One recent assessment was a full-scale audit performed in 2012 together with Kvaerner, Schlumberger, Hallliburton and RPS to determine risks.

Now, according to Gazprom Neft Shelf General Director Aleksandr Mandel, Prirazlomanaya is as good as other platforms offshore and meets international standards.

The oil production platform is held to the sea bed by gravitational weight of 506,000 tons. Up to 200 people can be at work on the platform when it is in use.

The Prirazlomnoye oil field, which was discovered in 1989, is offshore on the Pechora Sea, 60 kilometers from the coastline. The sea in 19-20 meters deep at the field. Reserves at Prirazlomnoye are about 70 million tons.

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