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Gazprom subsidiary publishes oil spill response plan for Russian Arctic operations

30 August 2013

Gazprom Neft Shelf LLC, a Gazprom subsidiary with a license to develop the Prirazlomnoye offshore oilfield in the Pechora Sea, has published its summary plan on the prevention of oil spills and spill response. The oilfield, between the north coast of continental Russia and Novaya Zemlya, has forecast recoverable reserves of more than 70 million tonnes.

The Prirazlomnaya Offshore Ice-Resistant Fixed Platform - Photo: Gazprom
The Prirazlomnaya Offshore Ice-Resistant Fixed Platform - Photo: Gazprom

Operations are centred on the Prirazlomnaya Offshore Ice-Resistant Fixed Platform (OIRFP). The platform’s weight keeps it fixed to the seabed and it is protected from scour by a rock rubble berm. 

The plan details basic response provisions and responsibilities between the operator, outside organisations and governmental bodies in the event of an oil spill, on an year-round basis.

The document was compiled by the Central Scientific Research and Design Institute of Marine Fleet (CSRIMF), agreed by Federal Marine and River Transport Agency of the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and is approved by the Russian Ministry of Emergencies.

A number of engineering solutions are used to prevent oil spills during well construction and platform operation, including advanced blowout preventers. According to the zero discharge principle, drilling mud, fluids, cuttings and other process waste will be injected into a special absorption well. 

The platform oil storage system provides for the “wet method” of keeping raw materials in tanks. This ensures additional safety at the facility, as it prevents oxygen entry into the tanks and the formation of an explosive environment.

Other features include a tanker oil transfer offloading system equipped with an emergency shut-down and closure system. 

Near the platform, two multifunctional icebreaking vessels are on permanent emergency duty, both equipped with state-of-the-art oil spill recovery equipment. Ashore, near the settlement of Varandey, further oil spill response equipment is located which would be used to protect the coastline, and resources and equipment from Lukoil at Varandey would also be available.

The new version of the plan includes improved response assets and additional equipment, capable of being used both in open water and under ice. 

The detailed plan is available at http://www.shelf-neft.gazprom.ru/en/?type=larn


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