The Prirazlomnoye field is currently the only Russian hydrocarbon production project implemented on the Arctic shelf. The Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil-producing platform is the field’s main facility.

Figures and facts

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.

Prirazlomnoye contains over 70 million tons of oil, with a potential production level of some 5.5 million tons per year.

In 2016, the field produced 2.2 million tons of oil.

Project implementation

The license to explore and produce hydrocarbons at the Prirazlomnoye field is owned by Gazprom Neft Shelf (formerly Sevmorneftegaz), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.

Oil production operations at Prirazlomnoye 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.

Technologies

The Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil-producing stationary platform was built specifically for the Prirazlomnoye field. The platform is used for all production operations, including oil drilling, extraction, storage, treatment, and offloading. As it was designed for the Arctic region, Prirazlomnaya can be used in extreme weather conditions; it meets the most stringent safety requirements and can withstand the highest 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. 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 oil-producing platform

ARCO crude oil

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 that can be used in road-building, rubber tire manufacturing, the space industry, and pharmaceutics.