Gazprom has begun year-round shipments of Yamal oil from the Arctic Gate, an Arctic oil loading terminal located offshore northern Russia.
Oil from the Novoportovskoye oil, gas and condensate field in the Yamal Peninsula is exported through a 100km export pipeline to the Ob Bay coast.
The ship channel of the bay has a depth of 11m and is too shallow for traffic due to which the oil trans-shipment terminal was placed in the sea, 3.5km offshore.
About 6.3 million tonnes of feedstock is planned to be extracted from the field as early as 2018.
The terminal has a capacity of up to 8.5 million tonnes and has been designed to operate under extreme natural and climatic conditions. It has a two-tier protection system.
Its equipment is completely automated and protected from hydraulic shocks. The terminal comprises a special system that allows for prompt undocking without the need for depressurising the units undergoing disconnection.
The zero discharge technology of the terminal prevents foreign substances from entering the Ob Bay.
An additional concrete shell is used to protect the subsea pipeline which links the terminal to the coastal tank battery.
Gazprom management committee chairman Alexey Miller said: "Gazprom is systematically exploring the Russian Arctic.
"We are successfully extracting oil from the Prirazlomnoye field, Russia’s only hydrocarbon production project on the Arctic shelf. A one-of-a-kind gas production centre in the Yamal Peninsula is in full swing.
"We have opened the Arctic Gate to deliver Yamal oil to European consumers via the Northern Sea Route all year round."
The Novoportovskoye field holds more than 250 million tonnes of liquid hydrocarbons in recoverable C1+C2 reserves and is operated by Gazprom.
Image: The Arctic Gate offshore oil terminal terminal has a two-tier protection system. Photo: courtesy of Gazprom.