Gazprom’s ice-protected oil platform “Prirazlomnaya” is still not ready to start drilling in Arctic waters. According to Head of Gazprom’s department for production of gas and oil Vsevolod Cherepanov, production will probably not start up until late 2012 or early 2013, ITAR-TASS reports.
The platform “Prirazlomnaya” was transported from Murmansk to its designated place in the Pechora Sea in August 2011 and was supposed to start drilling in December the same year. Because it took longer time than planned to get the drilling complex ready, start-up was postponed to March 2012. Now the project is experiencing another four months delay and the first drilling will probably take place sometime late in the summer.
Originally, the “Prirazlomnaya” platform is a re-built 27-year old platform that was retired from North Sea drilling operations when the Russian oil-company Sevmorneftegaz bought it from Norway in 2002. The platform was then named Hutton. The company later became a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom.
The Prirazlomnoye field, which has about 72 million ton of oil resources, is located at 20 m depths about 60 km north of Varandey, the port terminal in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The project will be the first ever offshore field in the Russian Arctic put in production.