Russia’s first Arctic offshore platform “Prirazlomnaya” is now finally ready to start working. Drilling will start in October and the first well should be ready by the end of the year, Neftegaz reports.
The Prirazlomnoye field, which has about 72 million tons of oil resources, is located at 20 m depths about 60 km north of Varandey, the port terminal in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Gazprom’s prestigious project has been postponed several times. “Prirazlomnaya” is a re-built platform that was retired after 18 years of North Sea drilling operations when the Russian oil-company Sevmorneftegaz bought it from Norway in 2002.
After reconstruction for Arctic conditions at yards in Severodvinsk and Murmansk the platform was transported to its designated place in the Pechora Sea in August 2011 and was supposed to start drilling in December the same year. It soon became clear that outfitting of the platform was far from being finished.
The project has so far cost some 100 billion rubles (app €2.29 billion) – costs of the platform amount to nearly 60 percent of this.
Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot has built two 70.000 tons ice class tankers that will be put in shuttle traffic between the Prirazlomnoye oil field and the floating oil terminal“Belokamenka” in the Kola bay.
The company is closing down its biggest mine in the Kola Peninsula following plummeting raw material prices. Consequences will be dramatic for Zapolyarny, the industrial town located along the border to Norway.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
“This sends a clear message to Russia that things aren’t so good when it comes to basic journalistic values in Norway either” The firing of BarentsObserver’s Editor Thomas Nilsen has led to massive reactions from journalists and other protectors of press freedom.