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Home / Issue Archive / 2010 / September #9 / Russia's ”Prirazlomnaya” Platform Gets Ready For Arctic Drilling

№ 9 (September 2010)

Russia's ”Prirazlomnaya” Platform Gets Ready For Arctic Drilling

Russia will soon be ready to start production at its first offshore oil field in the Arctic, the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea. The Prirazlomnoye field, which is located in the eastern part of the Pechora Sea about 60 km north of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, is due to be put production early next year, license holder Gazprom Dobycha Shelf confirms to Prime-Tass. The project, which has been delayed for a number of years, will be Russia’s first Arctic offshore hydrocarbon field in production.

By Barents Observer

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After many years of construction at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia, the ice-protected platform with the same name – Prirazlomnaya – is now finally getting ready for operations. According to a press release from the yard, the platform will in November this year be towed to Murmansk where the last pieces of equipment will be installed. Then, the platform will be sent to its destination in the Pechora Sea.
The Prirazlomnaya platform will be operated by a crew of about 200 men working on two-week shifts. The field holds resources of up to 41 million tons and annual peak production is believed to amount to about six million tons. A total of 36 wells will be drilled on site by year 2019, Oilru.com reports. The platform will operate with full capacity all year around.
According to Sevmash, the platform has a length and width of 126 meters, oil storage capacity of 136,000 cubic meters and a daily production capacity of 19,000 cubic meters. The topside of the platform is based on the “Hutton” platform, an installation previously operating in the North Sea and acquired by former license holder Sevmorneftegaz in 2002.
The Prirazlomnoye field is located outside the specially protected coastal areas in the Pechora Sea and serious environmental standards are observed, the operator company maintains. Still, experts fear consequences of an accident in the area. Construction problems have been abundant and Russia has little experience in offshore production. In addition, the field is located in a climatically extreme area with difficult ice and weather condition and long distances to supply and rescue facilities. Should an accident or a major spill occur, consequences might be dramatic for vulnerable Arctic nature in the area.
Also logistical challenges are abundant. Water depths in the area of the field are only about 20 meters and tankers will experience extreme shipping conditions. As previously reported, Sovcomflot has built two tankers specially designed for the project.
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