Gazprom Neft increases the competence for the ice conditions management on the Arctic Shelf

Gazprom Neft has started the practical testing of the ice formations impact methods in the Prirazlomnaya platform area. For the first time, in addition to its own fleet of ice breaking vessels, one of the most modern and powerful Russian diesel-electric icebreakers — Vladivostok, involved in the operation.

The most difficult ice situation throughout the shipment history occurred in March—April in Prirazlomnaya area. The powerful linear icebreaker Vladivostok usage provides uninterrupted and safe shipment of shuttle tankers, supply, rescue and emergency readiness in the area of the platform.

The main objective is to assess the various schemes of actions by the icebreaker and icebreaker support vessels in order to reduce the impact of the adverse ice factors, as well as shuttle tankers downtime duration in the working areas of oil shipment.

The work results, carried out within the framework of the only Russian oil production project on the Arctic shelf, will become a part of Gazprom Neft initiated ice management system. The idea behind the operation is to ensure the safe and effective implementation of both production and exploration company’s projects in the Arctic and freezing seas.

“Ensuring the safety of people, environment and assets is our absolute priority. To achieve this goal, it is essential to constantly improve the practical skills in ice conditions management while the projects implementation on the shelf,” said Andrey Patrushev, Deputy General Director of Offshore Projects Development, Gazprom Neft.


At the moment, Prirazlomnoye is the only project on the Russian Arctic shelf where the commercial oil production is carried out. The commercial field development started in 2013. The new ARCO oil grade first entered the world market in April 2014. Since the beginning of the field commercial operation, more than 6.6 million tonnes of oil have been loaded from the Prirazlomnaya platform. Gazprom Neft Shelf, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, is licensed as is the subsurface user of the project.

The Prirazlomnoye oil field was discovered in 1989 and is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 km from the shore. Recoverable oil reserves exceed 70 million tonnes. The offshore ice-resistant fixed platform Prirazlomnaya was created for oil field development purposes. It is designed for the operation under extreme climatic conditions, meets most advanced safety requirements and is able to withstand maximum ice loads.

All the wells operated at the field are located inside the platform, its base is simultaneously a buffer between the well and the open sea. The sea depth near the oil field is 20 m. Furthermore, the wells are equipped with oil and gas blowout preventing system. The oil storage system of the platform provides keeping the crude in the liquid state, excluding the possibility of oxygen penetration in the tanks provoking explosive environment.

The offloading line for oil pumping to the tanker is equipped with the emergency shutdown system working instantly. Near the platform, the specialized icebreaking vessels equipped with the newest oil-gathering equipment are constantly on emergency duty.

Prirazlomnaya works in accordance with the “zero waste” principle: used drill mud, sludge, and other manufacturing process waste placed into a special absorbing well.

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