After numerous postponements, production was due to start in 2012. Now, production is unlikely to start before several months into 2013. Speaking at a recent conference, Sovcomflot Deputy Director Igor Pankov said that “we have been told [that the first oil transports will start] in the first half of 2013”, RBC.ru reports.
The postponments make it likely to assume that the platform was installed in the Pechora Sea long before it was technically ready for operations. As previously reported, environmentalists argue that the drilling and production at Prirazlomnoye will not be safe and that spills will have devastating effects in the surrounding Arctic waters. Greenpeace in late August staged a major protest action at the platform.
The Prirazlomnoye field and the platform with the same name is operated by Gazprom Neft.
Meanwhile, the platform crew of about 200 has been living in the remote Pechora Sea without much to do since August 2011. And the two tankers owned by Sovcomflot and exclusively built for the Arctic project, the “Mikhail Ulyanov” and the “Kirill Lavrov”, are reportedly operating in Africa.