Gazprom Begins Russian Arctic Offshore Production

The Prirazlomnoye oil deposit lies 60 km offshore in the Pechora Sea. | Photo: Gazprom.

December 23, 2013

Gazprom has begun oil production at the Prirazlomnoye deposit. This is Russia’s first Arctic offshore exploration project, which marks the start of establishing of a large hydrocarbon hub in the region. The Prirazlomnoye oil deposit lies 60 km offshore in the Pechora Sea. Recoverable oil resources are estimated at 71.96mn tons and production is expected to amount to 6mn tons per annum after 2020. The first tanker is likely to be loaded with oil from Prirazlomnoye in the first quarter of 2014, and at least 300,000 tons of oil is to be produced in 2014.

The ice-resistant platform Prirazlomnaya is to drill and to store oil, as well as to dispatch oil to customers. For the first time ever, hydrocarbons will be produced at a stationary platform in the Arctic.

Prirazlomnaya is a unique platform designed and built in Russia on Gazprom orders. It is designed to work in extreme conditions, conforms to the strictest safety requirements and is capable of withstanding maximum ice pressure. Materials made from special alloys, resistant to corrosion, low temperatures, high humidity and aggressive marine conditions were used for the platform. The platform is fixed in the sea bed with the help of its weight, which totals 506,000 tons including the artificial stony berm built to prevent underwashing. A super-resistant deflector protects the platform from waves and ice.

Prirazlomnaya is designed so that no oil spills are possible in production and storage. All the wells are inside the platform so its base is a buffer between the wells and the open sea.

Oil will be kept in a concrete structure whose three-meter-thick walls are covered with two layers of stainless steel resistant to corrosion and wear.

The oil produced by Prirazlomnaya will be stored in such a way that oxygen may not enter the reservoirs, so as to prevent explosions.

All the gas produced by Prirazlomnaya will be used for the platform’s needs.

The platform’s design rules out any waste spills into the sea. The waste will be pumped into special absorption wells and, when necessary, shipped to the mainland in containers. Oilfield water will be purified and pumped into wells.

Oil will be pumped directly into tankers, and oil flow can be blocked within seven seconds to prevent oil spills. Hydrocarbons will be shipped from the platform around the year on the 70,000-ton ice class tankers Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov, which were built for the purpose.

Source: Gazprom Press Office, 2013