This landmark shipment was undertaken by the Mikhail Ulyanov tanker — several return trips to the Prirazlomnaya rig being necessary to despatch a consignment comprising 70,000 tonnes of oil. The vessel typically approaches one of various direct-loading facilities — or moves away from the platform, at a safe distance — depending on the prevailing wind direction, currents and movements of ice. A dynamic positioning system helps keep the vessel in place during transhipment, but the operation itself only starts once 30 essential safety criteria have been met.
Oil has been transported by vessels from the Sovcomflot group of companies since the rig was first commissioned — shuttle tankers the Mikhail Ulanov (which completed the first shipment of Arctic oil in 2014) and the Kirill Lavrov — both of which have since delivered more than 13 million tonnes of oil to the Port of Murmansk in the six years the Prirazlomnaya rig has been in operation.
Sergey Chigai Acting CEO, Gazprom Neft Shelf LLC
“Despatching the 200th oil consignment confirms the considerable stability and safety of the logistics strategy we use. We have developed an ice-management system to ensure continuous operation, year-round, under extreme climatic conditions. This involves continuous analysis and forecasting of hydrometeorological conditions, together with ice-class vessels and icebreakers. Collaboration with Sovcomflot — whose two tankers have, for the past six years, allowed us to ensure reliable oil transportation from the Barents Sea to the Kola Bay — is a further important element in the successful implementation of the Prirazlomnoye project.”