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Gazprom begins oil production in offshore Arctic

Russia’s Gazprom has begun oil production at the offshore Prirazlomnoye field in the Arctic—the first development on the Russian offshore Arctic shelf. Prirazlomnoye, on the shelf of the Pechora sea, 60 km (37 miles) from shore (Varandey), was discovered in 1989; sea depth in the area of the field is 19-20 meters (62-66 feet).

Recoverable oil reserves for the field are 71.96 million tons (approximately 527 million barrels), according to Gazprom, which is targeting a project production rate of about 6 million tons per year (44 million barrels) after 2020.

The offshore stationary platform Prirazlomnaya. Click to enlarge.

Production is via the stationary platform Prirazlomnaya. Designed and built in Russia by Gazprom, the Prirazlomnaya is intended to be ice-resistant, and features the use of what Gazprom says are special corrosion-resistant alloys to counter the low temperature, high humidity and aggressive marine environment. The platform will drill 40 directional wells.

The platform is held on the bottom of the sea due to its weight (506 thousand tons with the stone berm, artificially created for protection against undermining). A high deflector is intended to protect the platform from wave and ice impacts.

Extracted oil is stored in three concrete caissons covered with double-clad sheet steel, resistant to corrosion and wear.

The Prirazlomnaya was the target of a Greenpeace protest in September year that resulted in the arrest and detention of the Greenpeace crew.


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