Total oil production at the Gazprom Neft Novoportovskoye oil and gas-condensate field (under development by Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Yamal) has now reached one million tonnes.
It was announced by Gazprom Neft on June 27, 2016, the Novoportovskoye field was discovered in 1964 through prospecting well P-50, drilled by a team from the Yamal division of the Yamalneftegeologia group of companies. The field’s distance from transport infrastructure meant development did not commence until 2012, when pilot development by Gazprom Neft saw deliveries commence by road transport.
The Novoportovskoye field has the potential to significantly increase production volumes. To that end, it was essential that a decision be taken on the best means of transporting increasing volumes of crude, and transportation by sea via Cape Kamenny was chosen as the optimum route. The first possibility of despatching oil by sea during the winter season was confirmed by Gazprom Neft as early as 2011, following a pilot voyage by a nuclear icebreaker from the port of Sabetta (in the north—east of the Yamal peninsula) to Cape Kamenny. A new crude, “Novy Port”, was first shipped (on a temporary basis) via the Northern Sea route in summer 2014, for supply to European customers, with the first winter sea shipment taking place on the same basis as early as February 2015.
The Arctic Gates oil loading (transhipment) terminal was commissioned by Gazprom Neft on 25 May 2016, allowing year-round shipments of oil from the Novoportovskoye field to commence. The official instruction to commence the first shipment from the Arctic Gates terminal was given by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The Novoportovskoye field is one of the most significant oil and gas condensate fields currently under development in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Recoverable C1 and C2 reserves are estimated at more than 250 million tonnes of crude and condensate, as well as more than 320 billion cubic metres of gas (including Palaeozoic deposits). The field is located in the south—east of the Yamal Peninsula, some 250 kilometres north of Nadym, and 30 kilometres from the coast of the Gulf of Ob.
Oil from the field is currently transported to the coast through a pressure-pipeline running to more than 100 kilometres in length. Infrastructure established at the field and on the shores of the Gulf of Ob allows the transhipment of up to 8.5 million tonnes of oil per year. The year-round shipment of crude is ensured through the Arctic Gates crude-oil loading terminal — the only such terminal in the world located in a freshwater zone of the Arctic Circle.
The characteristics of this new Yamal oil (named “Novy Port” crude) classify it as “medium-gravity crude”. Its low sulphur content (of around 0.1 percent), moreover, is lower than that of Russian Urals-blend crude.