The Prirazlomnoye oil field was discovered in 1989. It is located on the Pechora Sea shelf 60 kilometers off the shore (Varandey settlement) at a water depth of 19 to 20 meters.
The Prirazlomnoye oil field is currently the only Russian hydrocarbon production project on the Arctic shelf. The Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil-producing platform is the oil field’s main pre-development facility.
Gazprom’s operating concept for the Russian shelf implies a comprehensive approach to the pre-development of the fields in the Barents, Kara and Pechora Seas and the Sea of Okhotsk. The approach hinges on the development of groups of closely located fields, optimizing costs and creating conditions for the simultaneous development of large and relatively small offshore fields. For instance, the Prirazlomnoye and Dolginskoye oil fields in the Pechora Sea are scheduled for joint development.
Reserves and production
The Prirazlomnoye oil field contains over 70 million tons of oil, with an annual production level of some 5.5 million tons.
Oil production at the Prirazlomnoye field started in December 2013, with about 300,000 tons of oil produced over the course of 2014 and a greater than 2.5-fold increase in production in 2015. November 2015 saw a crucial stage in the project’s development, as the millionth ton of Russia’s first Arctic oil was produced at the field.
The new type of oil produced at the Prirazlomnoye field was named ARCO (Arctic Oil). It entered the global market in April 2014. ARCO is characterized by high density (about 910 kilograms per cubic meter), an increased concentration of sulfur and low paraffin content. ARCO is well-suited for deep processing in Northwestern Europe, as it is rather heavy compared to the standard Russian export oil. It serves as the basis for unique chemical products which may be used in road-building, rubber tire manufacturing, space industry and pharmaceutics.
The license to explore and produce hydrocarbons at the Prirazlomnoye field is owned by Gazprom Neft Shelf (former Sevmorneftegaz), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.
The Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil-producing stationary platform was built specifically for the Prirazlomnoye oil field. The platform is used for all production operations, namely well drilling, oil extraction, storage, treatment and offloading. As it was designed for the Arctic region, the platform can be used in extreme weather conditions; it is compliant with the most stringent safety requirements and resistant to maximum ice loads.
The wellheads of all wells to be drilled at the field are located within the platform, while its foundation serves as a buffer zone between the well and the open sea. In addition, the equipment installed at the wells is meant to prevent blowouts of oil or gas. The offloading line used for transferring oil to tankers is provided with an emergency shutdown system that can be activated instantly. The round-the-clock monitoring of the Prirazlomnaya platform is ensured through a special system with over 60 detectors tracing the changes in its operation.
Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil-producing platform
Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant stationary platform