Prirazlomnoye field

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Prirazlomnoye field
(Приразломное месторождение)
Prirazlomnoye field is located in Russia
Prirazlomnoye field
Location of Prirazlomnoye field
(Приразломное месторождение)
RegionPechora Sea
Coordinates69°15′7″N 57°20′34″E / 69.25194°N 57.34278°E / 69.25194; 57.34278Coordinates: 69°15′7″N 57°20′34″E / 69.25194°N 57.34278°E / 69.25194; 57.34278
Field history
Start of production2013
Estimated oil in place610 million barrels (~8.3×10^7 t)

Prirazlomnoye field is an Arctic offshore oilfield located in the Pechora Sea, south of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, the first commercial offshore oil development in the Russian Arctic sector. The field development is based on the single stationary Prirazlomnaya platform, which is the first Arctic-class ice-resistant oil platform in the world. Commercial drilling was planned to begin in early 2012,[1] however it was delayed at least until the Spring of 2013 due to protester's "safety concerns".[2] Safety concerns have been raised about Prirazlomnoye platform, citing use of decommissioned equipment (the 1984 TLP upper section of the rig), however Gazprom’s oil spill response plan for Prirazlomnaya was renewed in 2014,[3] and most questions found its answers. [4] The Arctic Prirazlomnoye field produced the 10 millionth barrel of Russian North Arctic Oil in March 2016.[5]


The field was discovered in 1989. In 1993, the development license was issued to Rosshelf, a subsidiary of Gazprom, and the field was to be operational by 2001.[6] In June 2000, Gazprom and German energy company Wintershall signed a memorandum on cooperation in developing the Prirazlomnoye field.[7] Also Rosneft wanted to join the project.[8] In 2002, the license was transferred to Sevmorneftegaz, a joint venture of Gazprom and Rosneft.[9] Later Sevmorneftegaz became a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom. There is a plan to pass the Prirazlomnoye development to Gazprom Neft, an oil arm of Gazprom.[10] The name Prirazlomnoye means "at the geological fault".


Prirazlomnoye field has reserves of 610 million barrels (97 million cubic metres).[11]


The field development concept is based on the single stationary Prirazlomnaya platform.[11] The oil platform, constructed by Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, was expected to be completed by 2011 and after that the drilling would start.[10][12] The Prirazlomnaya platform was equipped with the topside of the decommissioned 1984 tension-leg platform (TLP) Conoco's Hutton field, which was the first ever built tension-leg platform.[13][14] Produced oil will be transported by double acting shuttle oil tankers Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov, built in Admiralty Shipyard and operated by Sovcomflot, to floating storage and offloading vessel Belokamenka, located in Kola Bay near Murmansk.[11][15] Gazprom considers to build an oil refinery in Teriberka at the location of the LNG plant of the Shtokman's development for processing oil from Prirazlomnoye and Dolginskoye fields.[16]

The concept of the development was designed by Vniigaz Institute, a subsidiary of Gazprom.[11] The estimated maximum annual oil production volume is expected to be 6.6 million tonnes. The total investment is expected to be about US$1.03 billion.[6]

The first oil from Prirazlomnaya[edit]

The construction of the Prirazlomnaya took almost a decade.[17] The platform installation was towed to the Pechora Sea in August 2011, however it took 2.5 years before the production started in December 2013.[18] In 2014, Gazprom expects to deliver at least 300,000 tonnes of Arctic crude (ARCO).[18][19]

Environmental issues[edit]

According to study of possible Arctic oil spill scenarios from the oil platform Prirazlomnaya completed by Russian scientists, together with environmentalists from Greenpeace and WWF-Russia Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund Gazprom is not prepared to deal adequately with a spill associated with oil production. The Russian Ministry of Emergency confirmed that Gazprom’s oil spill response plan expired in July 2012, making any drilling the company undertakes in the Arctic illegal until a new one is submitted and approved.[20][21] On 24 August 2012, a group of Greenpeace activists under Kumi Naidoo scaled the platform and put up a banner "Don't kill the Arctic".[22][23]

On 18 September 2013, Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise circled the Prirazlomnaya oil rig while three crew attempted to board the platform. In response, the Russian Coast Guard seized control of the ship and detained the activists.[24][25][26] The ship was subsequently towed by a coastguard vessel to the Russian Arctic port of Murmansk. The crew consisted of thirty members from sixteen different nationalities. The Russian government has intended to charge the Greenpeace activists with piracy, which carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years of imprisonment.[24] It was the stiffest response that Greenpeace has encountered from a government since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985, said Phil Radford, executive director of Greenpeace USA.[27] The Netherlands launched legal action to free 30 Greenpeace activists charged in Russia with piracy. Arctic Sunrise is a Dutch-flagged ship. Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the Netherlands had applied to the UN's Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which resolves maritime disputes between states. The Netherlands view the ship's detention as unlawful.[28]


  1. ^ "Приразломная" отправилась на работу в Печорское море [Prirazlomnaya moves to the Pechora Sea] (Press release) (in Russian). Sevmash. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Алексей Топалов. (21 September 2012). Облом с Приразломным (in Russian). Газета.ru. Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Gazprom's oil spill response plan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Prirazlomnoye communications installed". BarentsObserver. Archived from the original on 16 September 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  5. ^ "10th million barrel of arctic oil produced in Prirazlomnoye". UPI. 22 March 2016. Archived from the original on 23 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b Zhdannikov, Dmitry (31 March 2008). "Gazprom ups pipeline costs, delays oil project". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  7. ^ "German-Russian Memorandum signed; Wintershall and Gazprom successful in realising their Prirazlomnoye project". M2 Presswire. 20 June 2000. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Rosneft wants a piece of Prirazlomnoye". FSU Energy. 9 February 2001. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  9. ^ "Ministry grants Sevmorneftegaz Shtokmanov, Prirazlomnoye licenses". Energy News. 28 November 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2009.[dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Foreign companies may develop Barents Sea oilfield". RosBusinessConsulting. 9 December 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d "Prirazlomnoye Oilfield - Barents Sea, Russia". Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  12. ^ Anatoly Medetsky (15 July 2008). "Putin Slams Miller Over Access To Pipeline". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Platform hull from Murmansk to Mexico". Barents Observer. 27 November 2008. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  14. ^ "Case Studies". The United Kingdom Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Association. Archived from the original on 12 July 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  15. ^ "Russian shipyard starts building 2nd ice-class oil tanker". RIA Novosti. 10 November 2008. Archived from the original on 13 November 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  16. ^ "Gazprom considers oil refinery in Shtokman village". Barents Observer. 6 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 February 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  17. ^ "Delayed Arctic breakthrough". Barents Observer. 2 January 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  18. ^ a b "First oil from Prirazlomnaya". Barents Observer. 8 April 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Russia opens oil sluices in Arctic as rickety Prirazlomnaya platform begins production". Bellona. 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Prirazlomnaya oil spill would threaten Russian Arctic with irreparable disaster: study". Greenpeace Russia. 14 August 2012. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Environmentalists warn of risk of oil production in the Russian Arctic". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.[dead link]
  22. ^ Baczynska, Gabriela (24 August 2012). "Greenpeace activists climb Russian Arctic oil platform". Reuters. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  23. ^ Vasilyeva, Natalya (24 August 2012). "Greenpeace Activists Storm Russia's Prirazlomnaya Oil Platform". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  24. ^ a b Shaun Walker (24 September 2013). "Russia to charge Greenpeace activists with piracy over oil rig protest". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  25. ^ "Greenpeace International responds to allegations from Russian authorities". Greenpeace International. 22 September 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  26. ^ "Armed Russian guards storm Greenpeace vessel in Arctic". Channel News Asia. 25 September 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  27. ^ Kathy Lally and Will Englund. "U.S. Greenpeace captain jailed in Russia". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  28. ^ Dutch take legal action over Greenpeace ship in Russia Archived 28 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine BBC 4 October 2013

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