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First oil from Prirazlomnaya

The Prirazlomnaya platform is Russia's first offshore production unit in Arctic waters.

Gazprom Neft plans to get the first shipload of oil from its controversial Arctic project in late April.

Location

The buyers of the oil have been found and the first tanker will pick up the historical shipload in the course of the month, company leader Aleksandr Dyukov told journlists this week.

The load will be the first ever oil from a Russian Arctic offshore field. As previously reported by BarentsObserver, Gazprom Neft started production at the field in late December 2013.

The Prirazlomnoye oil is slightly more heavy than the normal Urals, and a discount will be given to buyers, the company informs.

According to Dyukov, thanks to support from the government, the project will be profitable with an oil price of $80 per barrel. “A new methodology has been adopted, according to which the state subsidies will be increased in case of a drop in oil prices”, the company leader says, Oilru.com reports.

The Prirazlomnaya project has been a highly costly and long-dragged endeavor for the owners. After a long period of construction at the Sevmash yard, the platform was in August 2011 towed to the Pechora Sea. However, it took almost another 2,5 years before the installation could start production.

The whole project has reportedly costed 90 billlion rubles. When in full production, the platform will produce a total of six million tons per year. In 2014, at least 300,000 tons of oil will be extracted, the company informs.

The Prirazlomnaya project has stirred controversy among environmentalists, who fear that a spill could ruin the vulnerable environment in the area. In August 2013, a group of Greenpeace activists were met with harsh reactions from heavily armed security forces when they campaigned against the project. Also authorities in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug has voiced fears of what might happen if a spill reaches the extensive Nenets coast.