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Western sanctions could jeopardise security on Russian Arctic platform

03 September 2014

Norwegian news website says Western sanctions against Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to problems on a number of the country’s Arctic oil & gas projects. Among the worst affected could be the Prirazlomnoye project in the Pechora Sea. 

Prirazlomnaya platform. Source: Gazprom Neft
Prirazlomnaya platform. Source: Gazprom Neft

The ice-reinforced Prirazlomnaya platform, Russia’s first offshore Arctic oil field in production, is full of Norwegian and western technology, and replacement parts from abroad are a necessity to keep it functioning. Russia itself has little experience of offshore oil and gas operations.

In a worst-case scenario, the website says, project operator Gazprom Neft might not be able to get hold of crucial equipment for the unique installation, which could put its safety and security at risk. Gazprom Neft announced a tender to modernise the Prirazlomnaya platform in June.

Other ongoing projects in the Russian Arctic that could suffer because of sanctions include Gazprom Neft’s Novoportovskoye project in the Yamal Peninsula and Novatek’s Yamal LNG project.

According to Goldman Sachs, Gazprom Neft could be the Russian company worst hit by Western sanctions. Of its total production target of 60 million tonnes in 2015, the company expected to produce about 1.6 million tonnes from the Prirazlomnoye and Novoportovskoye projects.

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