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First cargo of Yamal oil shipped from Arctic Gate offshore terminal

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Oilfield Technology,

The year round shipments of Yamal oil from the Arctic Gate (Vorota Arktiki), an Arctic oil loading terminal, were marked by an event which took place on 25 May in the Mys Kamenny settlement (Yamal Peninsula, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area). The event was attended by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Alexander Dyukov, Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Neft.

It was via videocall that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the command to start loading a tanker with oil from the Novoportovskoye field.

Rich reserves

The Novoportovskoye oil, gas and condensate field, the richest in oil reserves in the Yamal Peninsula, is located 700 km away from the existing pipeline infrastructure. That is why it was decided to ship Yamal oil by sea for the first time in the history of Russia's oil and gas industry.

Thanks tocutting-edge technologies employed in building the production, transportation and, most importantly, loading infrastructure, it took only four yr to arrange commercial oil production from the field. It is planned to extract 6.3 million t of feedstock from the field as early as 2018. The plan for further field development will be outlined before late 2017.

An over 100 km long oil pipeline transports oil from the Novoportovskoye field to the Ob Bay coast. The bay's ship channel with a depth of 11 m is too shallow for ship traffic, which is why the oil loading terminal was placed in the sea, 3.5 km offshore. The annual capacity of the oil transshipment terminal is up to 8.5 million t. The terminal ensures a year round loading of tankers with Yamal oil for further shipments via the Northern Sea Route.

Unique facility

The Arctic Gate offshore oil terminal is a unique facility. It is designed to operate under extreme natural and climatic conditions, as temperatures in the region can drop below -50° C and ice can grow over two m thick. The terminal has a two-tier protection system and complies with the most stringent requirements for industrial safety and environmental protection.

The terminal's equipment is fully automated and safely protected from hydraulic shocks. A special stem allows for prompt undocking without depressurising the units undergoing disconnection. The zero discharge technology prevents foreign substances from getting into the Ob Bay, which is of paramount importance to the preservation of the Arctic environment. Moreover, the subsea pipeline that connects the terminal to the coastal tank battery is protected with an additional concrete shell.

“Gazprom is systematically exploring the Russian Arctic. We are successfully extracting oil from the Prirazlomnoye field, Russia's only hydrocarbon production project on the Arctic shelf. A one-of-a-kind gas production centre in the Yamal Peninsula is in full swing. Today, we are creating a new oil province on top of the gas centre. We have opened the Arctic Gate to deliver Yamal oil to European consumers via the Northern Sea Route all year round,” said Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.

Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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