Russia’s largest privately-held oil company Lukoil and Gazprom Neft have conducted a joint exercise “Arctic-2017” to simulate oil spill response in ice conditions in the Arkhangelsk region.
Lukoil said on Tuesday that the exercise took place in the Barents Sea, near the Varandey fixed offloading terminal and the Prirazlomnaya platform.
The exercise was initiated by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as part of the activities held under the Year of Environment in Russia.
Participants from emergency rescue teams of the Ministry of Emergencies, Sovkomflot, Sea Rescue Service of the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport, Lukoil-Trans, Gazprom Neft Shelf, and several other organizations participated in the exercise.
The exercise involved over 15 units of equipment, two specialized vessels, and more than 100 employees from Lukoil entities.
According to Lukoil, the exercise scenario called for participants to respond to a simulated oil spill in ice conditions near the Prirazlomnaya platform and protect the shoreline near the Varandey village from oil pollution resulting from a collision between an oil tanker and a support vessel.
The company claims that the exercise showed that both Lukoil and Gazprom Neft have sufficient manpower and resources to prevent and respond to oil spills in such conditions in the Arctic.
To remind, Lukoil participated in another joint emergency response exercise last September together with the ministries of emergency situations of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Joint emergency rescue teams simulated accidents at the Lukoil’s Yuri Korchagin and Vladimir Filanovsky offshore fields as well as at the corporate training center.
The Prirazlomnoye field, located in the Pechora Sea some 60 kilometers from shore, was initially discovered in 1989 and the license to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.
Recoverable reserves of the field are in the region of 70 million tonnes. The Prirazlomnaya ice-resistant offshore rig was designed specifically for the development of this field and is designed for use in the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions and can withstand maximum ice loads.
All wells at the Prirazlomnoye field are located within the platform, the base of which acts as a buffer between the well and the open sea.
According to information provided by Lukoil, the Varandey fixed offshore ice-resistant offloading terminal is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s northernmost oil terminal.
The facility is located in the Barents Sea which is covered with ice some 247 days a year with ice thickness reaching 1.25 – 1.8 meters. The terminal operates in line with the zero discharge principle adopted by Lukoil, meaning that not a single drop of production or household waste is discharged into Arctic waters.
Varandey also includes a shore-based tank farm and two subsea pipelines. All tanks have a double wall design to prevent any oil leaks or spills.