Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Shelf has commissioned two new production wells at its Prirazlomnoye field, bringing the total number of wells currently in operation at the Prirazlomnaya platform — currently the only oil production project on the Russian Arctic Shelf — to 10: six production wells, two injection wells, and one absorption well.
The total length of the two new wells is over eight kilometres. One of the new wells is equipped with a domestically produced electronic submersible pump — the first instance of such high-tech equipment being used on the Russian Arctic Shelf. Initial operation of the new facility has, already, seen production at that well reach 1,760 tonnes per day.
The Prirazlomnaya platform is equipped with technology to prevent any ingress of production of drilling waste into the sea. The project is being implemented on the basis of “zero emissions”, with waste either re-injected into the strata or transported onshore for further recycling. All wellheads are located within the platform, the base of which then acts as a buffer between the well and the open sea. Development of the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea envisages the commissioning of 32 wells, in total.
Gennady Lyubin, Executive Director, Gazpromneft Shelf, commented: “The commissioning of the first domestically produced electronic submersible pump on the Arctic Shelf is a landmark for Russian industry as a whole. It’s important to note that this facility has seen the fastest ever production speeds in the history of the Prirazlomnaya operation. We continue to improve production efficiency in developing the field, while following all industrial and environmental safety requirements, to the letter.”
The Prirazlomnoye field is the first — and, thus far, the only — field on the Russian Arctic Shelf at which oil production is being undertaken (commercial production having begun in December 2013). The first consignments of a new Russian “Arctic Oil (ARCO)” were despatched from the platform in April 2014. The licence to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.
Initially discovered in 1989, the Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 kilometres from the shore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 70 million tonnes. The “Prirazlomnaya” ice-resistant offshore rig was designed specifically for development of this field, and is designed for use in the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions, as well as meeting the most stringent safety requirements and withstanding maximum ice loads.
All wells at the Prirazlomnoye field are located within the platform, the base of which then acts as a buffer between the well and the open sea — which can reach depths of up to 20 metres around the field. In addition to which, all wells are specially equipped to prevent the possibility of any uncontrolled emission of oil or gas. Oil storage at the platform involves “wet sump” methodology, preventing the ingress of oxygen into storage tanks, preventing the ingress of oxygen and the creation of potentially explosive conditions.
The offloading line for the pumping of oil to tankers is equipped with an emergency shut-down system, which is activated instantaneously. Emergency icebreaking vessels will be on permanent emergency standby around the platform, equipped with the latest oil-spill recovery equipment.
A “zero-emissions” system is in operation at the Prirazlomnaya rig, with drilling fluid, bit cuttings (“drilling sludge”) and other production waste all pumped into a special re-injection well.