Tuesday, 03 September 2019 17:54

How oil is produced in the Arctic

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The Arctic is fraught with enormous wealth, which, of course, includes oil. But it is not enough to open giant deposits — it is necessary to find ways to produce, and in the case of the Far North, also to deliver raw materials to consumers. Gazprom Neft managed to solve this problem by implementing three large-scale projects for the development of the Arctic.


Island "Prirazlomnaya»

Prirazlomnoye field was the first oil production project on the Arctic shelf of Russia. Platform "Prirazlomnaya", specially built for this purpose, is installed in the Pechora sea 60 kilometers from the shore. It would seem that it is not far, but the road to offshore fishing begins almost a thousand kilometers away — in Arkhangelsk. First, from the largest city in the North of the European part of Russia, you need to fly by plane to the shift village of Varandey, and from there by helicopter to the platform itself.

But if the weather is flying, it happens that the departure has to wait a few days — and this is to fly just a little more than fifty kilometers. But the North weather is not to be trifled with. Therefore, even such a short flight all overcome in special rescue suits-sealed, allowing to hold out in the icy water of the Pechora sea until the arrival of help.

The platform itself is perfectly protected from the most violent Arctic storms, and they are not uncommon. Winter in the Arctic lasts nine months, and the temperature often drops to -50 degrees. Storms in this part is also a frequent phenomenon. But the platform is capable of withstanding maximum ice loads and a direct shock wave height of 10 meters. No wonder, because the width of the walls of the oil storage-caisson-three meters.

The top of the highest structure of the platform-the rig - is located 122 meters from sea level, but drilling operations due to bad weather do not have to be suspended. The tower is protected from any external influences and can withstand the load of the wind blowing at a speed of 51 m/s. And this is a real hurricane. And the wells that are drilled with "Prirazlomnaya" reach a length of 8 km.

"Prirazlomnaya" can be compared to a small plant built on an island in the open sea. After all, the platform weighing half a million tons is installed right at the bottom. 200 people work here all the time. Their safety and the environment is provided by a fully automated system that covers all wells in a few seconds.

In addition, all technological operations are carried out inside this island-nowhere and no contact with the sea. This also applies to production waste - "Prirazlomnaya" works on the principle of zero discharge, so they are either pumped into a special absorbing well, or taken ashore and already there safely disposed of.

Water for technological needs is taken through special devices that protect marine life, and even helicopters fly over the sea at least 500 m, so that the noise does not scare the animals. In General, safety comes first.

Messoyakha group of deposits

If we do not take into account the shelf, the northernmost oil field, of all that is being developed in Russia, is located on the Gydan Peninsula — East Messoyakhskoye. Rather, it is a whole group of Messoyakha deposits, which were discovered in 1985, but began to operate only in 2012.

This is not surprising, because the nearest settlement to the field-the village of Tazovsky-is 136 kilometers from Messoyakha. Until recently, there were no roads or pipelines through which to export oil — only endless tundra. In winter there are frosts up to -60 degrees, and snow lies 8 months of the year.

Oil Messaage lies not very deep, but it's viscous and solidifies even at not very low temperature. Therefore, before it is sent through the pipeline, it has to be heated. In addition, oil deposits are covered with powerful gas caps, which complicates production. It is planned that the gas of the East Messoyakhskoye field, which is already being developed, will be pumped into an underground storage facility at the West Messoyakhskoye, which is waiting for its turn. Then these stocks can be printed out and used rationally.

However, now Messoyakha gas which is extracted along with oil, is used quite rationally. It becomes fuel for gas turbine power plant, oil heating furnaces and boiler houses. This not only increases the efficiency of the field, but also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions — because before it was simply burned. In addition, the fishery has no impact on the nature of the Arctic tundra: the system of thermal stabilization of the supports of the buildings of the fishery and the oil pipeline laid above the ground allows to preserve the layers of permafrost.

The Novoportovskoye field

On the Yamal Peninsula, where the Novoportovskoye field is being developed, there was no infrastructure, as well as on Messoyakha. Therefore, the key to a huge oil and gas reserves, discovered in 1964, managed to pick up only in 2012. to Build the pipeline to the nearest trunk line was too expensive to transport oil by winter roads — is ineffective, so there was a very bold idea to organize the transportation of oil by sea: in the Gulf of Ob, and then along the Northern sea route tanker accompanied by icebreakers. For this purpose, a unique oil loading terminal "Arctic Gate"was built right in the waters of the Ob Bay, 3.5 km from the shore.

This is a technical structure, the operation of which began in 2016, with a height of more than 80 meters. The terminal can operate in 50-degree frost, resist the effects of two-meter ice thickness. And the freshwater ice of the Ob Bay is harder and more durable than the salty sea ice.

In order to export oil from novoportovsky all year round, Gazprom Neft had not only to create the Arctic Gate, but also to build its own fleet. Today, six ice-class tankers ply between the field and the giant storage tanker installed on the roadstead in the Kola Bay near Murmansk. In the Ob Bay they are assisted by two powerful super-modern diesel-electric icebreakers, and along the Northern sea route are nuclear icebreakers of Rosatomflot.

Having laid the Arctic oil sea route to the ports of Europe, the company plans to form a powerful mining cluster on the Yamal Peninsula from several promising fields, which will be based on the infrastructure of the New port.



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