To date Gazprom Neft has extracted 4 million tonnes of ARCO (Arctic Oil) oil from the Prirazlomnaya Platform, the only project on the Russian Arctic shelf that produces oil on an industrial scale, reported PortNews on April 6, 2017.
The Sovcomflot (SCF) shuttle tanker Kirill Lavrov safely transported the 4 millionth tonne becoming the 60th shipment since extractions from this Arctic field commenced in 2014, Sovcomflot says in press release.
In 2017, the Prirazlomnoye Field is expected to yield about 2.6 million tonnes of Arctic oil.
In 2016, 2.15 million tonnes were produced, a volume more than 2.5 times higher than in 2015.
The demand for ARCO is due this oil grade’s properties, such as high density (ca. 906 kg per cubic meter), high sulphur content, high bitumen content, low coke balance index, and a large number of fractions used for the production of lube products.
«The successful shipment of 4 million tonnes of oil from the Prirazlomnaya Platform since the beginning of this field’s development indicates that, thanks to the use of latest technological solutions and constant environmental monitoring, oil production on the Arctic shelf may be both effective and safe,» said Gennady Lyubin, Director General of Gazprom Neft Shelf.
For the transportation of oil from the Prirazlomnaya Platform, 2 SCF Arctic shuttle tankers are involved, Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov, designed for year-round safe oil shipment in the Arctic.
Both vessels were built to the orders of Sovcomflot at the Admiralty Shipyards of St. Petersburg, specifically to support the Prirazlomnoye Project operations.
Both tankers are of the Panamax type; their deadweight is 70,000 tonnes, the length is 257 meters and the width 34 meters.
Both vessels have Arc6 ice class and are distinguished by their high icebreaking capability and, thanks to Azipod-type propulsion installations, may independently overcome ice with a thickness of up to 1.2 meters when navigating stern-first.
«The design of the Prirazlomnaya Platform allows for the simultaneous extraction, storage and shipment of oil. Sovcomflot tankers Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov are an integral part of the integrated shipment system for this unique project, which enables year-round safe transportation of Arctic oil. The construction and operation of the SCF tankers was preceded by significant work to find high-tech solutions and required specialized training of personnel, based on the experience of ice navigation accumulated by Sovcomflot,» commented Mikhail Suslin, Chief Marine Inspector of PAO Sovcomflot.
At present, Prirazlomnoe is the only project on the Russian Arctic shelf, where industrial oil production is conducted.
The industrial development of the field started in December 2013.
The new ARCO oil grade entered the world market for the first time in April 2014.
Gazprom Neft Shelf, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, holds the license for oil production under the project.