An Energy SuperPower

By Thomas Barbieri
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

With Vast Natural Energy Resources    

Russia is an energy superpower and the country has vast and rich natural resources. Besides gas and coal reserves (some of the largest in the world), Russia today is ranked as the world’s biggest oil producing nation accounting for well over 12% of the global output. Moreover, the country exports more than 70% of its oil to the world markets. That said, Russia’s output of oil amounts to a third of what collectively the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produces.
The country has relied on oil production for decades, however there has been a notable geographical shift. The initial oil recovery started in the late 1920s in the Ural -Volga region, stretching from the Ural Mountains to the Volga River in what is known as European Russia. Production began to decline and new oil reserves were found in western Siberia. Now the focus of Russia’s oil and gas extrapolation and production is in the Arctic Ocean and in eastern Russia.  The country also has adopted a new Energy Strategy that encompasses much stricter environmental legislation and sustainable development, resulting in oil and gas giants obligated to follow the laws outlined in the Energy Strategy.
Gazprom Neft Shelf (GPNS), is the fifth largest company in the Russian Federation and a 100% subsidiary of Gazprom Group, Russia’s biggest company. The company’s main activity is associated with development of offshore oil and gas fields on Russia’s Arctic shelf and the implementation of comprehensive exploration projects and programs in Gazprom’s licensed areas. The main objective is the Prirazlomnoye field development, located offshore in the Pechora Sea.
“We are striving to achieve performance excellence in our key businesses aimed at facilitating sustainable development of the Gazprom Group as a world’s largest energy company. In the coming years GPNS will focus on oil recovery, transportation, and pre-development operations in the Prirazlomnoye oil field as well as in other offshore Arctic fields,” says Leonid Khmarinov, Managing Engineer, Environmental Control Department, GPNS.
The company will proceed with geological exploration and geophysical activities, as well as the construction of infrastructure facilities in Gazprom’s licensed areas and fields which are located on the continental shelf, Yamal Peninsula and in Yakutia.
“Meeting the requirements of federal laws on environmental protection and Gazprom’s environmental policy provisions is a high priority for us,” says Khmarinov factually.

Right OSR equipment for the environment

Environmental pollution prevention measures include amongst others the Oil Spill Contingency Plans (OSCPs). “The OSR equipment, as a part of the approved OSCP for the Prirazlomnoye field was put out to tender in 2010, and Lamor Corporation was awarded the tender. The equipment is destined for the special crews located on the Prirazlomnaya field. These crews are trained to manage OSR operations during possible oil spill incidents and are capable of operating Lamor’s OSR equipment,” says Khmarinov.
Khmarinov is pleased with the decision that GPNS opted to invest in Lamor’s OSR equipment since it proved to be the most efficient and effective, coupled with its faultless performance in various OSR operations. “We needed a reliable partner who had experience and state-of-the-art OSR equipment. This we found in Lamor Corporation.  Moreover, we are knowledgeable about the equipment and the flawless and effective performance carried out in numerous operations in the various regions of our activities e.g. in western Siberia. We know that we can entirely rely on Lamor’s OSR equipment performance,” Khmarinov highlights.
“I used Lamor’s OSR equipment in Nizhnevartovsk, Noyabrsk, Nefteyugansk, Tyumen and in Orenburg during various incidents. No matter what the climate or terrain, offshore too, Lamor proved to be the right choice in every situation regardless of the challenge,” Khmarinov adds.
“What impresses me most about Lamor is the continuous development of new technologically advanced OSR equipment that is excellent in oil spill clean-up operations. The communication is vital and we are fully informed of more advanced and new effective solutions as they come on stream,” says Khmarinov sincerely.
“In the autumn, GPNS together with Murmansk’s Maritime Basin Emergency and Rescue Department have a scheduled joint OSR exercise in the Varandey Region in which Lamor’s OSR equipment will be used,” says Khmarinov.
 

The Priarzlomnoye oil field
Prirazlomnoye oil field was discovered in 1989 and has an estimated oil reserve of 610 million barrels. The recoverable oil reserves under ABC1 + C2 category are 72 million tons. The productive horizons belong to the Permian coal-bearing formations and occur at a depth of 2.3 – 2.7 thousand meters. Construction of 40 wells (19 production, 16 injection, 1 absorption and 4 back-up wells) is envisaged for its development. “The planned oil production level is 6.58 million t/yr,” says Khmarinov.
“We have commissioned new reinforced ice-class shuttle tankers that will be assisted by high powered ice breakers as they make their way over more than 1,000 kms of sea passage through the ice that lies between the field and the Belokamenka terminal,” says Vasilii Vasetckii, Deputy Chief, GPNS Fleet Operations and Maritime Security. He is also the dedicated person from GPNS to represent the International Code of Conduct for Maritime Security.

From offshore to refineries and beyond
Oil transfer is carried out in two stages. “The 360,000t floating platform Belokamenka will be installed in an ice-free part of Kola Bay, up to 1,100km away. Oil from Prirazlomnoye will be transferred to Belokamenka by ice breaking shuttle tankers of up to 220,000t. The crude will then be exported by up to four 150,000dwt to 170,000dwt supertankers. There will also be two 16MW multifunctional icebreakers for assisting the tankers as well as carrying out safety and environmental tasks. The platform will be supported by a supply base at Arkhangelsk. There, the oil will be reloaded into much larger supertankers for shipment to European refineries,” Vasetchkii explains.
“We are the maritime fleet operators for Gazprom Group. For the Prirazlomnoye field two cutting edge versatile ice-breaking supply vessels of high capacity have been built specially, as well as a floating crane with a 400 t capacity that has a 4.6 m draft and a 360° swinging jib arm,” says Vasetchkii.
“Moreover, we have entered into a long-term, 25 years contract with Sovkomflot which is a Russian maritime shipping company specializing in petroleum and LNG shipping. The large scope of activity in the Prirazlomnoye field needs the corresponding scope of environmental protection measures and Lamor meets our increasingly high demands for OSR equipment. I feel Lamor and its equipment portfolio is the world leader in this area and a reliable partner with a sound reputation,” Vasetchkii notes.

Scope of supply
Lamor’s scope of supply includes an 19m long oil recovery vessel with the built-in oil recovery system LORS on both sides. “In addition to oil recovery, our vessel can also be used as a multi-purpose vessel for boom deployment, dispersant spraying, service tasks and as a safety patrol boat,” explains Lamor’s Nikolai Kildishov, VP Russia & CIS.
Kildishov highlights some of the vessel’s benefits: “The vessel has hull mounted brush skimmers, which enables recovered oil to be delivered directly to the recovered oil storage tanks in the mid-ship without the need of using oil transfer pumps. Another great advantage is that the brush conveyors are in direct connection with the oil on the water surface which notably improves the high viscous oil and debris collection capabilities, but also collecting of light oils in Arctic conditions. Moreover, the vessel is built according to ice class Ice 2 and certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS).” 
In addition to the oil recovery vessel, Lamor will also deliver two Landing Crafts  LC9000 with cabins, which also are certified by RMRS, and a rubber inflatable boat as well as Bow Collectors to be fitted on already existing workboats. “We also provided four kms of oil containment booms and a boom washing machine,” says Kildishov.

(As published in the September 2012 edition of Maritime Reporter - www.marinelink.com)

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