“Berkut” Rig to Start Operation for Sakhalin-1

June 24, 2012

   ExxonMobil and Rosneft, members of the project, are to build dozens more of such platforms.

Top Grade in Its Class

   In late May, gravity-base substructure (GBS) for Arkutun-Dagi field (Sakhalin-1 project) has been completed in dry dock of the Vostochny port in Primorsky Krai territory. Norwegian company Kvaerner worked on the base’s design and construction for two years. This mighty construct is a 160,000 ton rectangle with four silos, vaguely reminiscent of the “upside-down elephant”.

   “The width of the platform is 100 meters, the length – 133 meters, the height – 55 meters, weight – 150,000 tons; there is 27,000 tons of reinforcements and 52,000 tons of concrete”, said Bjorn Gundersen, executive vice president of Kvaerner, at the ceremony for completion of the base.

   By the end of June, VOSCF (a joint venture between Van Oord and Somkomflot) will tow the base to Arkutun-Dagi field. The route runs along the northern part of the Sea of ​​Japan, through La Perouse Strait and further to the Sea of ​​Okhotsk along the east coast of Sakhalin. The total length of the route is 1,870 km (about 1,000 miles).

   In 2013 the contractors will use the float-over method to set up the oversea substructure on top of the base towering more than 20 meters above sea level. The upper structure will house various technological equipment (including for drilling), as well as residential areas. Currently it is being manufactured in South Korea by Daewoo. The platform, to be named Berkut (‘golden eagle’) will be the largest offshore oil&gas platform in Russia. It is designed for year-round operation in seismically active zones and capable of withstanding low temperatures (down to -44°C), high waves (up to 18 meters) and ice thickness of up to 2 meters.

   This is one of the largest platforms built with no accidents or critical failures, mentioned Glenn Waller, head of Exxon Mobil Russia, during the press conference. The construction project was completed on time and within budget, too.

   “Completion of the gravity-based structure is another significant milestone for Sakhalin-1 and brings us one step closer to production start-up from the project’s third field”, said Jim Flood, Exxon Neftegas Limited Chairman. – “The successful development of the Arkutun-Dagi field will strengthen Russia’s position as one of the leading countries developing oil and gas deposits offshore and onshore in challenging arctic and sub-arctic conditions”.

Sakhalin-1 to Boost Production Levels

   The new platform will enable the project members to start operating the Arkutun-Dagi field already in two years’ time. Production from field will be routed through the existing Chayvo onshore processing facility on Sakhalin Island and delivered through pipelines to the De-Kastri oil export terminal located in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

   Arkutun-Dagi’s 4.5 million tpa peak production is planned for 2017 and expected to last 4-5 years. Arkutun-Dagi is one of the three fields (along with Chayvo, and Odoptu) being developed under the Sakhalin-1 project; the other two are already in production stage, using “Yastreb” (hawk)