Gazprom launches regular operation of Obskaya – Bovanenkovo railroad on Yamal
Gazprom launched the regular operation of the Obskaya – Bovanenkovo railroad 525 kilometers long.
The Obskaya – Bovanenkovo railroad commissioning and construction of the Bovanenkovo – Karskaya railroad section 572 kilometers long (regular operation of the section is scheduled for 2010) will ensure year-round, rapid, cost effective and all-weather delivery of cargoes and personnel to the Yamal fields in the severe polar climate.
The railroad will allow transportation of up to 3 million tons of cargoes per annum. These include construction materials, machinery, equipment, metal structures, fuels and lubricants, chemicals, pipes and cables required to develop the Bovanenkovo and other fields on Yamal, as well as to construct and operate the Bovanenkovo – Ukhta gas trunkline system. In addition, the railroad will help deliver liquid commodities, in particular, gas condensate, from the Yamal fields.
The Yamal Peninsula is a region of Gazprom’s strategic interests. Commercial development of Yamal fields will increase local gas production to 310–360 billion cubic meters per annum by 2030. Accessing the Yamal is of utter importance for the purpose of ensuring domestic gas production growth.
11 gas and 15 oil, gas and condensate fields with approximately 16 trillion cubic meters of explored and preliminary estimated gas reserves (ABC1+C2) and nearly 22 trillion cubic meters of in-place and forecast gas reserves (C3+D3) have been discovered on the Yamal Peninsula and in its adjacent offshore areas. Condensate (ABC1) and oil reserves are estimated at 230.7 and 291.8 million tons, respectively. The Bovanenkovo field is the most significant field on Yamal in terms of gas reserves (АВС1+С2) – 4.9 trillion cubic meters.
In December 2008 Gazprom commenced practical implementation of the Yamal megaproject. The Company started the operations aimed at the Bovanenkovo field development and the Bovanenkovo – Ukhta gas trunkline system (GTS) construction. Commissioning of the first startup complexes for the Cenomanian-Aptian deposits pre-development in the field and the GTS construction are scheduled for the third quarter of 2012.
Projected gas production from the field is estimated at 115 billion cubic meters per annum to be increased to 140 billion cubic meters per annum in the long term.
Unique technologies were applied when constructing the Obskaya – Bovanenkovo railroad. In particular, the railroad embankment was made of wet sandy silt, which reaches the desired strength at subzero temperatures. To ensure the roadbed steadiness in summer, a unique multi-layer heat insulation system (expanded polystyrene above the frozen sand, geotextile mats) was developed and applied.
A bridge crossing over the Yuribey River floodplain is the most complicated section of the railroad. The crossing stretches 3.9 kilometers and its total weight exceeds 30 thousand tons. The main peculiarity of the bridge crossing design is its arms. In order to ensure reliability they were made of metal pipes 1.2–2.4 meters in diameter filled with reinforced concrete. The arms penetrate the permafrost soil to the depth of 20–40 meters. The novel technologies elaborated by Russian researchers and designers prevent the permafrost soil from thawing.