ARCTIC OIL: 1 MLN BBL
The millionth barrel of the new oil, ARCO (Arctic Oil), has been produced at the Prirazlomnoye deposit. The second tanker to deliver the oil to North West Europe in the next few days is currently being loaded. The first tanker carrying oil from Prirazlomnoye set offfrom the deposit in April.
A further two tankers will transport around one million barrels of oil from the Prirazlomnoye field before the end of the year. In total, approximately 2.2 million barrels (or around 300,000 tonnes of oil) will be produced at the Prirazlomnoye field in the first year of itsdevelopment.
Prirazlomnoye is the world's first project involving oil extraction on the Arctic shelf by means of a stationary platform. Extraction as part of pilot production began in December 2013. The new oil, ARCO, was first delivered to the global market in April 2014. The new Prirazlomnaya offshore, ice-resistant, stationary oil production platform was developed specifically for this field to facilitate all technical operations, including drilling, extraction, oil storage, preparation and shipment of oil products. The Prirazlomnaya platform was designed to operate in Arctic conditions and its design specifications rule out the possibility of oil spills during the extraction, storage and shipment of oil.
One production well has been drilled at the deposit and the drilling of an injection well is expected to be completed shortly. There are also plans to complete the main drilling work for an absorption well by the end of 2014. Further four wells are to be drilled in 2015. In total, the project will involve the commission of 36 wells, comprising: 19 production wells, 16 injection wells and one absorption well.
Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of Gazprom Neft's Management Board, stated:
"Gazprom Neft is the first company to extract oil on Russia's Arctic shelf. The production of the millionth barrel of oil at the Prirazlomnoye field is a milestone and further proof of the consistent development of the project and its final transition into full-scale development. Gazprom Neft plays a leading role in developing oil deposits on the Arctic shelf and we can build on this experience for new Arctic projects in the future."
The Prirazlomnoye oil field is situated 60km off the coast in the Pechora Sea. Recoverable reserves of oil at the deposit are in excess of 70 million tonnes. Gazprom Neft Shelf LLC is the project operator and subsurface licence holder.
The Prirazlomnaya is a unique platform designed and built for Gazprom in Russia. The platform is intended for operation in extreme weather conditions, meets the strictest safety requirements and is capable of withstanding maximum ice loads.
Extracted oil is stored in tanks situated in the platform caisson. Its three metre concrete walls are covered with a two-layer sheet of corrosion- and wear-resistant plated steel. The caisson has a capacity of approximately 94,000 tonnes of oil. The caisson's safety margin vastly exceeds actual loads. The platform also makes use of so-called "wet storage" of oil which prevents oxygen from entering containers, thereby preventing the accumulation of hazardous explosive mixtures.
The platform has a zero discharge system that prevents drilling or production waste from being dumped into the sea. Waste is to be pumped into a special absorption well or, as necessary, collected in containers and transported to shore for subsequent disposal.
Oil is loaded onto tankers using a complex system for direct loading of oil (COUPON). The emergency loading shutdown system has a maximum response time of just seven seconds, preventing oil spills. The platform has two emergency shutdown mechanisms located on opposite sides of the platform diagonally across from each other (south west and north east sides). Loading points are chosen depending on the direction and strength of weather conditions: waves, ice drift, currents and wind. If there is a risk of a tanker drifting from the area in reach of one of the systems, it is safely de-berthed and moved to the other system. The tankers are equipped with a dynamic positioning system that allows the vessel to be held in place regardless of the impact of wind and waves to prevent accidental collisions with the platform.
The Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov shuttle ice-class oil tankers with a deadweight of 70,000 tonnes built specifically for transporting oil from the Prirazlomnoye field provide for year-round delivery of oil from the deposit.
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