Russia's Prirazlomnoye Field to Double Output
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom, plans to more than double oil output this year at the Prirazlomnoye field, Russia's sole Arctic offshore oil project, the company said on Friday.
Last year, oil production at the field totaled 300,000 tons.
Development of Russia's offshore Arctic riches has been hampered by Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukrainian conflict.
Russia's top oil producer, Rosneft, has postponed exploration drilling in the Kara Sea after its partner, U.S. company ExxonMobil, suspended its participation in the project due to sanctions.
Gazprom Neft has also been exploring another Arctic offshore oilfield, Dolginskoye, where it drilled its fourth exploration well last year.
In 2014, Gazprom Neft's total hydrocarbon output rose by 6.4 percent to 66.3 million tons of oil equivalent.
The Prirazlomnoye oil field is located in the Pechora Sea, 60km from the coast. Recoverable oil reserves exceed 70 million tons.
The Prirazlomnoye field is the only project producing oil from a stationary platform in the Arctic. The field currently operates one exploration well. Plans are in place to begin operating an injection and a disposal well, and four additional exploration wells are to be drilled.
A unique ice-resistant platform was designed and built in Russia for the development of the field. It is designed to operate in extreme climatic conditions and is able to withstand maximum ice loads. The platform stands on the seabed, and its safety margin significantly surpasses actual loads.
The platform’s foundation walls are three meters thick. Wells are drilled within the platform, and are isolated from the open sea. The Prirazlomnaya platform operates on a principle of zero discharge, meaning that no drilling or production waste comes into contact with the sea. Waste is pumped into special absorption wells or collected in tanks and delivered to the shore for disposal on land.