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Russia launches largest oil drilling platform in the country's Far East

Published time: June 27, 2014 15:36
Edited time: June 27, 2014 20:02
Gravity Base Structure (GBS) to install oil and gas platforms "Berkut" on the Arkutun-Dagi maritime oil field (north-eastern shelf of Sakhalin Island), whose construction in the "Sakhalin-1" project is completed at the dock port in Eastern Primorye territory (RIA Novosti / Vitaly Ankov)

Gravity Base Structure (GBS) to install oil and gas platforms "Berkut" on the Arkutun-Dagi maritime oil field (north-eastern shelf of Sakhalin Island), whose construction in the "Sakhalin-1" project is completed at the dock port in Eastern Primorye territory (RIA Novosti / Vitaly Ankov)

Russia's Rosneft and America's ExxonMobil have launched a unique drilling platform in the Okhotsk Sea in Russia's Far East. The world's most powerful rig can drill within the radius of at least 7 kilometers.

The rig is called Berkut or golden eagle and was designed to work in harsh subarctic conditions.

The drilling platform can withstand a 9 magnitude earthquake, waves of up to 18 meters and temperatures down to minus 44 degrees Celsius, Rosneft President Igor Sechin said. Berkut can also withstand floating ice up to two meters thick and has an autonomous power supply system. It has the largest superstructure on any rig. Weighing 200,000 tons it can drill a total of 45 wells.

The platform is located 25 km offshore in waters up 35 meters deep. The drilling will be performed by means of a marine rig, which allows all-year-round drilling of wells.

There have been no accidents or critical failures during the platform's construction, Rosneft's Igor Sechin reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the launch on Friday. The construction was completed on time and within budget.

Gravity Base Structure (GBS) to install oil and gas platforms "Berkut" on the Arkutun-Dagi maritime oil field (north-eastern shelf of Sakhalin Island), whose construction in the "Sakhalin-1" project is completed at the dock port in Eastern Primorye territory (RIA Novosti / Vitaly Ankov)

President Putin started the platform via a video link from the Kremlin, and highlighted the importance of the project to the country and the development of its natural resources in the Sakhalin region. "Thanks to such projects as the Berkut platform, we can use the richest but difficult to access fields, create new production and job opportunities, and strengthen the social and economic development of the Far East," Putin said.

The President also pointed out that the platform's construction and future operation is carried out under the strictest ecological regulations. "The project has undergone the harshest environmental requirements. The platform meets it, which is a separate achievement," Putin added.

He also praised the efforts of the Russian-American partners and wished them luck in the future field development projects.

The platform is a result of work by the Sakhalin-1 Consortium, which is the first major shelf project in the country, created on Product Sharing Agreement (PSA) terms. Forged in 1996, it includes several participants, with ExxonMobil and Sodeco having a 30 percent of share each, and Rosneft and ONGC Videsh Ltd. holding 20 percent each.

The total project is estimated to cost $10-12 billion, making it the largest direct foreign investment in Russia. It involves development of three oil fields in the north-east shelf off Sakhalin Island in the waters of the Okhotsk Sea.

Exploitation at Arkutun-Dagi field with the Berkut platform is expected to start by the end of the year. It will add 4.5 million tons to the Sakhalin-1 total annual extraction, producing up to 12,000 tons of oil daily.

Comments (16)

 

Matt 30.06.2014 09:40

@Rob Taylor "No Matt the US uses the worlds money through forcing the world to buy it's huge and astronomic debt."

It would take more then 650 characters to refute the many points that are wrong about your comment, but I'll will say that the government's borrowing cost is about 2.5 percent for a 10 year bond and 3.5 percent for a 30 year. When you consider inflation, the true cost for our government to borrow money is close to zero and at times has dipped into the negative. If you can borrow money for near zero cost, why wouldn't you?

 

Matt 30.06.2014 09:29

@EU "And how about those sanctions? even your businessmen showing ur president middle finger sad days for usa."

I think it's a win-win. The US and Europe have applied limited sanctions against Russia, which have slowed down the Russian economy while western oil companies get to continue exploiting Russia's natural resources.

 

Rob Taylor 30.06.2014 07:17

No Matt the US uses the worlds money through forcing the world to buy it's huge and astronomic debt mountain to fund innovation. Debt constraints and proper management of money don't figure as the US expects the world to fund it's astronomical spending. So don't talk about the US being innovative you are living in fantasy land. It burns through money like a furnace burning coal but has to answer to nobody due to everything being pegged to it's national currency. Time to take them rose tinted glasses off Matt you deluded fool.

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