26 December 2013, 11:56

Oil extraction at Prirazlomnoye deposit is good for Russia and welfare of mankind - experts

Prirazlomnoye platform

Prirazlomnoye platform

Prirazlomnoye platform

Russia's gas giant Gazprom has started oil extraction at the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea in the Arctic Region. It is the first project for the development of the Arctic Shelf in Russia's history and at the same time, it is the beginning of Gazprom's large scale work to create a big centre for the extraction of hydrocarbons in the Arctic. There are plans to extract no less than 300,000 tons of oil there next year. It is for the first time in the world that the extraction of hydrocarbons will be carried out with the use of a stationary platform.

The reserves of the Prirazlomnoye deposit are estimated at 72 million tons. The ice-resistant stationary platform is due to start working at full capacity by 2020. It is an unprecedented project, Director of the Energy Industry Department at the Institute of Energy and Finance Alexei Gromov says.

"To extract 300,000 tons of oil would be very good for Gazprom, taking into account that till recently the Russian gas concern was involved in the extraction and distribution of natural gas. In fact, the Prirazlomnoye oil field is the beginning of a big way and a starting point for Gazprom as regards oil extraction in the Arctic. It is a project of great significance for Russia," he said.

The Prirazlomnaya platform meets the strictest security demands and is capable of withstanding the maximum pressure of the ice. Up to 200 people can live and work there. The work on the launching of the Prirazlomnaya platform continued amid a temporary suspension in the work on the Shtokman project. The Prirazlomnoye deposit lies 60 km offshore. The sea is approximately 19 or 20 km deep there, which facilitates oil extraction and makes it less risky environmentally than oil extraction on the shelf – hence, cheaper. Therefore, the development of the Arctic is Russia's strategic task, Deputy Director of the Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vasily Bogoyavlensky says.

"The Prirazlomnoye deposit is rich in oil and gas, and we can't ignore this fact. We export the greater part of hydrocarbons which we extract abroad. This means that we work not only for ourselves but also for the welfare of mankind," he said.

First oil from the Arctic is expected in the first quarter of 2014, Alexei Gromov said.

"Fulfilling its long-term contracts, Gazprom will send the Arctic oil to its major clients in Europe and Asia, using oil tanks for this purpose, he said.

Gazprom estimates the cost of the project for the development of the Prirazlomnoye deposit at 200 billion roubles, and nearly 100 billion roubles have already been invested in it. Of that amount 65 billion roubles were spent on the platform, and all the rest was used to create relevant infrastructure and to build four ships.

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