Gazprom is getting ready to ship the first oil cargo from its oil platform located in the freezing waters of the Pechora Sea.
According to Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the matter, an oil tanker has been loaded and is awaiting final approval to sail away with the oil taken from the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Prirazlomnoye field. The tanker is expected to leave with the cargo on April 10.
The platform, beside the fact that it is the first Arctic-class ice-resistant oil platform in the world, raised media attention after Greenpeace activists climbed aboard in September last year.
The whole project has been heavily criticized by the environment groups. Greenpeace has said that the actions by the Russian oil and gas giant will raise the risk of an oil spill in an area that contains three nature reserves protected by Russian law.
The field was discovered in 1989. It is located on the Pechora Sea shelf 60 kilometers off the shore (Varandey settlement) at the water depth of 19 to 20 meters.
Production from the field began in December, 2013, making Gazprom the first company in the world to produce commercial volumes of oil from beneath the Arctic seabed.