The Russian Prirazlomnoye oil field is the first stationary Arctic oil platform in the world. Its located in the Arctic where 7 months of the year is severe winter with the temperatures as low as -48º Celsius (-54 ºF). During the summer months there are big waves, up to 9 meters (30 ft.) in height and periodic storms… Popular Russian travel blogger Alexander Cheban visited this unique oil field, here on Russianblogger.me I have a translation of his original blog post. Are you ready to see some cool pictures of the Prirazlomnoye oil field and learn how they extract oil in Arctic Russia?
Prirazlomnoye field was discovered in 1989. More than 20 years later, it became the first in the world stationary Arctic oil platform, where its safe, efficient and environmentally friendly to extract petroleum. Ice-resistant oil field is located in the Pechora sea, 60 kilometers to the north from the mainland (Varandey settlement).
The water depth in the area is 19 to 20 meters (62 to 65 ft.).
A few years back there was a lot of talking about the Prirazlomnaya by Greenpeace, they were going to “stop Gazprom’s oil platform” for ecological reasons. Well, there is no question about it, there were politics involved – not ecology only.
The oil production from the field started in December of 2013. It took a total of 15 years to build the platform because of the complex construction and technical issues. The base of the Prirazlomnaya platform was taken from the Norwegian oil fields, which were reconstructed to ensure maximum safety of oil production at the maximum ice loads.
The length and width of the platform is 126 meters (413 ft.), the height is 141 meters (463 ft.). Because of the shallow depth, the field stands directly on the seafloor – so it’s pretty much like an artificial island.
There are over 200 staff members who work on the platform. This is a Varandey settlement – it’s a base of the “Prirazlomnoye” on the mainland.
The only way to get to the platform is to take a helicopter from Varandey.
To secure the helicopter, there is a special stretched grid. Helicopter parking on the platform is prohibited. The transportation process works like this – helicopter lands, drops people off and picks up the staff members who have finished their shifts and leaves back to Varandey.
Shift workers working for a month before they switch with the other group. On the platform they stay in rooms like this.
Let’s see what the process looks like of the extraction of Arctic oil. This is a room where they monitor a drilling process – it’s sealed, explosion and fire resistant.
The process of drilling wells. There are total of 36 separate wells. The oil is extracted here from the depths of 2.3-2.7 km.
Control center of the platform.
Tank is pumping the oil from the Prirazlomnaya platform. Storage capacity of the platform is over 800,000 barrels.
There are two ice class tanks used: the Mikhail Ulyanov and the Kirill Lavrov. Both tanks were built in 2009 and are designed for year-round export of oil from the field.
In case of emergency oil spill, there are ships on duty by the oil field 24/7 with special equipment on board. They are prepared for any possible scenarios if something goes wrong.
100% of Arctic oil from Prirazlomnoye field goes to the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands. A lot of you might ask if this project is profitable knowing how low the oil prices are right now on the market. Experts working on the Prirazlomnoye say that the production of arctic oil will be profitable even with the oil prices as low as $10.
At the end, here are a few pictures of how the Prirazlomnaya platform looks 7 months of the year from November to March.
Thank you for your attention and I hope you enjoyed this post!