MURMANSK, Russia – The ice-resistant stationary platform for Gazprom’s Neftshelf’s Prirazlomnoye field development in the Pechora Sea offshore Russia in the Arctic has reached its location, 60 km (37 mi) offshore. Russian engineering group J.SC.Sevmash built the platform, which was towed from Severodvinsk to the field near Varandey, southwest of Nova Zembla.
Dutch contractor Tideway has started implementing an erosion protection system around the platform to secure it to the seabed. The operation will involve a stone fill of 100,000 metric tons (110,231 tons), expected to take more than 40 days to complete.
Much of the work is being performed using Tideway’s DP2 fall pipe vessel Seahorse, which can take on board 17,000 mt (18,739 t) of quarry stone and operate in water depths of up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft).
The stones are being loaded in Murmansk, and stored in the hold of the Seahorse. The fall pipe is suspended underneath the vessel, to ensure stones are deposited where required above pipelines or directly on the sea bed. The bottom end of the pipe is equipped with an ROV, operated from the deck, which controls the stone laying operation in three dimensions.
Following completion of this operation and startup of the drilling facilities, the first production well should start drilling on the Prirazlomnoye field before the end of this year.
The platform is designed to withstand temperatures that can drop to -50ºC (-58ºF) during winter, and ice formation – the location is typically free from ice for 110 days each year.