Sergey Kostromskoy, captain of the "Prirazlomnaya" platform, has been living major parts of the last two years in the Pechora Sea. (Photo: Gazprom.ru)
More than two years after schedule, the Prirazlomnaya oil platform has started production in the icy waters of the Pechora Sea. Gazprom is seriously behind schedule also in the several of the neighboring licenses.
After having lain idle in the desolete Pechora Sea since August 2011, the “Prirazlomnaya” platform in late December started pumping oil from Prirazlomnoye, Russia’s first oil producing offshore field in the Arctic. Commenting on production launch, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller called the event a historical breakthough in the region. “Let it be no doubt – Gazprom continues the development of the Arctic”, he underlined in a press release.
The “Prirazlomnaya” platform has been under construction for almost a decade. The 505,000 tons stationary installation is placed on the sea bed and can drill, produce and store oil from the field which has estimated reserves of 72 million ton. Production target in 2014 is 300,000 tons while peak annual production of six million tons is due to be reached by 2020, the company informs.
The “Prirazlomnaya” is not the only Arctic project where Gazprom is seriously delayed. According to company representative Vsevolod Cherepanov, Gazprom has not been able to meet license time conditions in another three Arctic projects, among them the Kruzernshternskoye field in the Kara Sea and the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea. Originally, the company had committed itself to drill seven wells at the former field and one at the latter in 2013. In addition, one well was to be drilled at the far eastern Zapadnoye Kamchatskoye structure, the Agency on Oil and Gas Information reports.
The reason for the delays is reportedly that the company has not been able to get hold of the necessary drilling equipment, including the needed drilling rigs. According to Cherepanov, Gazprom will drill at both the Dolginskoye and Kruzernshternskoye projects in 2014. In the latter project, the company considers to build an artificial island for project development.
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.