Half a Country Under Sail Arctic expedition visits Varandey transfer camp of Gazprom Neft Shelf

The Plan X team comprising travelers-enthusiasts from St. Petersburg who united to advocate domestic tourism and healthy lifestyle visited Varandey transfer camp of Prirazlomnoye oil field in the framework of an Arctic expedition. Gazprom Neft assisted in the organization of the four-month navigation under the motto Half a Country Under Sail. The company sponsored the expedition and provided reliable satellite communications to the travelers along the whole route.

Varandey is shift village of Gazprom Neft Shelf, which is used by the company as a temporary location to organize personnel to delivery people on the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea. The camp has a hotel-type dormitory for 180 people, a boiler room, an electric station, garage and warehouse to keep oil spill clearing equipment, and an airport.

“They showed us the territory of Varandey shift camp to see the dormitory and the administrative buildings, as well as transportation and everyday facilities. We were specifically impressed by the emergency and rescue equipment. We saw that Gazprom Neft Shelf is ready for any emergency. Besides, the company provided all the necessary conditions for effective work and proper rest of the personnel at the transfer base of Prirazlomnoye project. The fact that animals are not scared and come close to the technological facility confirms that it is environment-friendly,” said Sergey Severin, Plan X Team Leader.

The expedition comprises river and sea stages. The team rafted down the Yenisei River and crossed the Kara Sea to the Pechora Sea. The travelers have yet to cross two other areas of the Arctic Ocean — the Barents and White Seas.

Since the start of the expedition in late June from Krasnoyarsk the crew of the sailing ship has covered over two thirds of the route. The voyage will end in September in Arkhangelsk and the total covered distance will exceed 6000 km.

The Plan X prepared for the Arctic journey for over a year and a half. An 8-meter catamaran with inflated Sea Elephant balloons was chosen for the extreme expedition in Russian northern waters. The modular construction of the craft helps to easily transport it to any point of the world while small draft and the absence of tough hull elements makes it possible for the crew to land on unequipped coast and drifting ice.


At present, Prirazlomnoye field is the only Russian project on the Arctic shelf engaged in commercial oil production. Its development began in December 2013. The new Arctic crude (ARCO) was for the first time supplied to the world market in April 2014. As for today, the Prirazlomnaya platform produced over 5 million tons of oil. Gazprom Neft Shelf, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, is the operator of the project.

Prirazlomnoye oil field was discovered in 1989 and is located 60 km off the coast of the Pechora Sea. Extractable oil reserves exceed 70 million tons. To develop the deposit the Prirazlomnaya ice-resistant stationary platform was built. It can operate in extreme climatic conditions, meets modern safety requirements, and can sustain maximum ice pressure.

All operational wells at the field are inside the platform and its foundation serves as a buffer between a well and the open sea. The sea depth at the field is 20 meters. The well equipment can prevent uncontrolled oil or gas discharge. The oil storage system of the platform provides for a wet storage in reservoirs, which excludes the penetration of oxygen and the emergence of an explosive environment.

The shipment line to deliver oil to tankers is equipped with an emergency shutdown system, which switches on immediately. Specialized icebreakers with the latest oil collection devices are on permanent emergency duty at the platform.

Prirazlomnaya operates according to zero discharge principle. The boring mud fluid, muck and other technological waste are pumped into a special absorbing well.

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