Oil production at Prirazlomnoye field delayed again

Publish date: September 23, 2005

Production start-up at the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea seems unrealistic Even 2008 for the experts for. The date for production start was first set for the year 2003, then postponed to the end of 2005.

Today, Gazprom top-managers give a new date – 2006. However, Prirazlomnoye is likely to meet several new challenges ahead. At the Severodvinsk enterprise there was not enough qualified workers so it became necessary even to invite guest workers from Latin America.

For commercial operation at the Prirazlomnoye deposit Gazprom will have to create an extracting complex and a shipping scheme. The shipping part of the project goes successfully so far. The oil storage facility in Belokamenka has doubled its capacity and Norwegian shipyard Havyard Leirvik builds the head multipurpose ice- breaker. Two ice-class shuttle tankers are constructed at the Admiralteisky shipyards in St. Petersburg.

At the same time the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk was not able to finish in time construction of caissons and modernization of the top structure of Hutton TLP platform. It is now necessary to finish installation of the platform and begin its transportation to the White Sea. For this purpose it is needed to dig the deep four-kilometer channel. This could likely lead to more delays.

So far Gazprom and Rosneft have invested $760m in the project which makes approximately a half of the total expected investments. The experts are also skeptical about the Gazprom plans to start export of natural gas from Shtokman deposit in 2009. It is more likely that industrial exploitation of this field will be started in the second decade of this century, Barents Observer reported.