Russia’s giant Gazprom announced on May 25 an event marking the start of the year-round shipments of Yamal oil from the Arctic Gate (Vorota Arktiki), an Arctic oil loading terminal.
The operation took place Wednesday in the Mys Kamenny settlement (Yamal Peninsula, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area). The event was attended by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Alexander Dyukov, Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Neft.
On photo: Alexander Dyukov and Alexey Miller
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the command via a video call to start loading a tanker with oil from the Novoportovskoye field.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin - Image courtesy:kremlin.ru
The Novoportovskoye oil, gas and condensate field, the richest in oil reserves in the Yamal Peninsula, is located 700 kilometers away from the existing pipeline infrastructure. That is why it was decided to ship Yamal oil by sea for the first time in the history of Russia's oil and gas industry.
Alexander Dyukov and Alexey Miller during video call - Image: kremlin.ru
Thanks to cutting-edge technologies employed in building the production, transportation and, most importantly, loading infrastructure, it took only four years to arrange commercial oil production from the field. It is planned to extract 6.3 million tons of feedstock from the field as early as 2018. The plan for further field development will be outlined before late 2017.
An over 100-kilometer-long oil pipeline transports oil from the Novoportovskoye field to the Ob Bay coast. The bay's ship channel with a depth of 11 meters is too shallow for ship traffic, which is why the oil loading terminal was placed in the sea, 3.5 kilometers offshore. The annual capacity of the oil transshipment terminal is up to 8.5 million tons. The terminal ensures a year-round loading of tankers with Yamal oil for further shipments via the Northern Sea Route.
The Arctic Gate offshore oil terminal is a unique facility. It is designed to operate under extreme natural and climatic conditions, as temperatures in the region can drop below minus 50 degrees Celsius and ice can grow over two meters thick. The terminal has a two-tier protection system and complies with the most stringent requirements for industrial safety and environmental protection.
The terminal's equipment is fully automated and safely protected from hydraulic shocks. A special system allows for prompt undocking without depressurizing the units undergoing disconnection. The zero discharge technology prevents foreign substances from getting into the Ob Bay, which is of paramount importance to the preservation of the Arctic environment. Moreover, the subsea pipeline that connects the terminal to the coastal tank battery is protected with an additional concrete shell.
“Gazprom is systematically exploring the Russian Arctic. We are successfully extracting oil from the Prirazlomnoye field, Russia's only hydrocarbon production project on the Arctic shelf. A one-of-a-kind gas production center in the Yamal Peninsula is in full swing. Today, we are creating a new oil province on top of the gas center. We have opened the Arctic Gate to deliver Yamal oil to European consumers via the Northern Sea Route all year round,” said Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.