Sakhalin Offshore Oil and Gas Reserves – Sea of Okhotsk – Russia
December 3, 2011 4 Comments
Sakhalin (Сахалин) is a Russian island located amongst the north-eastern Sakhalin shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk. This frozen hotspot is famous for its vast quantities of oil and natural gas nestled kilometres below ground. Among Sakhalin’s oil and gas operations are, most notably, Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2. Not so widely read is Sakhalin-3, which stands to become one of the largest regional producers in the future. I have included company ownership structure in order to foreshadow the power-struggle that occurs, and will occur among producers of various regions. Consider the increased Japanese consumption of LNG in light of the Fukushima event (projects have been considered on many occasions to simply join Russia and Japan by both rail and pipeline), the overwhelming power that Exxon has in a Russian territory under Sakhalin-1, the growing energy demands of the Russian far east, and more..,
Sakhalin-1 is a jointly-owned consortium, as illustrated to the right, that works to bring oil and gas from the Chayvo, Odoptu, and Arkutun-Dagi fields to market. (Чайво, Одопту, и Аркутун-Дагинское). The Sakhalin-1 fields are estimated to contain 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 17.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Currently, only the Chayvo and Odoptu fields are producing. A platform at Arkutun-Dagi is under construction.
- Odoptu – Extended reach wells into the Odoptu field were drilled by the land-based Yastreb rig from 2009 through to 2011. Oil and gas production began in late 2010. There are no offshore platforms in the area. Oil and gas from the field are transported to the Chayvo onshore processing facility (OPF) via a 79km flowline. Gas is either re-injected into the fields to maintain reservoir pressure, or piped into domestic markets.
- Chayvo – Prior to work at the Odoptu field, the Yastreb rig was used to drill several world record setting wells into the Chayvo field. More so, the Orlan platform sits over the Chayvo field and works to produce hydrocarbons. Oil and gas from either source are piped to the Chayvo OPF.
- Chayvo Onshore Processing Facility (OPF) – The facility was completed in 2006, engineered and built by the Fluor Corporation, and connects all Sakhalin-1 operations. Sakhalin Neftegas Technology LLC (Fluor Corporation’s Russian join venture) was awarded the contract in May, 2009 to expand on the existing Chayvo OPF.
Oil and gas from either field is processed at the Chayvo OPF, from which oil is then sent via pipeline to the De-Kastri oil export terminal on the Russian mainland. From here oil is sent to market via oil tanker.
Due to the way in which winter ice crowds the island for several months of every year, special drilling/transportation procedures have been necessary. The land-based Yastreb rig (Ястреб) was engineered and built exclusively for the Sakhalin environment to perform horizontal Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) kilometers into the Sea of Okhotsk, all at a depth of up to 2,600 meters. This has allowed for a substantial reduction in costs and environmental impacts since the operation is able to avoid the relatively substantial environmental implications that the construction of an ice-resistant offshore platform would incur.
The Sakhalin-2 fields consist of Pil’tun-Astokhsk (PA), and Lunskoye (Пильтун-Астохского и Лунского). The project includes 3 platforms, an onshore processing facility (OPF), the TransSakhalin pipeline, a LNG plant, and an oil export terminal. The PA field consists mostly of oil, where the Lunskoe field consists of mostly gas. All products are piped to the Sakhalin-2 onshore processing facility that is connected with the TransSakhalin pipeline system.
- Pil’tun-Astokhsk – This field is being developed by both the PA-A (Molikpaq) platform and the PA-B platform. The PA-A platform was towed in from Canada where it had been built to withstand the frigid ice of the Beaufort Sea. It was modified in route, in Korea, to accommodate the depths of the Pil’tun-Astokhsk field. Having been commissioned in 1998, it had only been able to produce during the ice-free months up until the commissioning of the TransSakhalin pipeline system that allows all Sakhalin-2 operations to operate year-round.
- Lunskoye-A – In operation as of Jan, 2008, the platform produces primarily gas from the Lunskoye field. Gas is sent via pipeline through to the Onshore Processing Facility.
- TransSakhalin Pipeline System– Oil and gas pipeline system connecting the northern Sakhalin-2 operations with their onshore processing facility (OPF). The system further connects the OPF to the Prigorodnoye Production Complex in Aniva Bay.
- Gas to domestic/rural markets – The Northern Gas Transfer Terminal in Botasino, Sakhalin, connects the TransSakhalin Pipeline System to the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok Gas Transmission System for distribution to mainland Russia. A Southern Gas Transfer Terminal outside of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk allows for distribution within rural Sakhalin.
- Prigorodnoye Production Complex – Located at the southernmost point of the island on Aniva Bay, the complex consists of an oil export terminal, LNG Plant, and an LNG Jetty all used to send Sakhalin-2 oil and gas to market via LNG and oil tankers.
- Liquid Natural Gas Plant – Developed by Shell for Sakhalin, the first LNG plant in Russia was developed to withstand the severe Sakhalin winters. The plant converts Compressed Natural Gas into Liquid Natural Gas which is then stored in any of two massive 100,000 m^3 tanks. LNG carriers of capacities of up to 145,000 m^3 are able to be loaded via the loading jetty. The natural gas liquefaction process developed by Shell for Sakhalin is proprietary.
- Oil Export Terminal – Opened in February of 2009. Oil arriving from through the TransSakhalin Pipeline is able to be stored in any of two floating roof storage tanks each with a capacity of 95,000 m^3. A tanker loading unit is situated offshore in water measuring 30 m in depth, and is able to load tankers of capacities of up to 150,000 m^3.
Not included within the map, the Kirinskoye Field (Gas / Gas Condensate) south-east of the Lunskoye field will become one of the first Russian offshore operations to use subsea production techniques.
- Drilling has been underway by either of two semi-submersible drilling rigs, the Polyarnaya Zvezda (Polar Star), and the Severnoye Siyaniye (Northern Lights).
- An onshore processing facility is being built, and will connect with the Sakhalin Main Compressor Station via a 140 km gas pipeline. The Sakhalin main compressor station is connected into the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok Gas Transmission System.
- Currently, Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 products feed into the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok Gas Transmission System, but once Sakhalin-3’s Kirinskoye field is producing, it will take over and become the dominant supplier into the Russian mainland.
- Exxon Neftegas Limited. Phases & Facilities. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sakhalin-1.com/Sakhalin/Russia-English/Upstream/about_phases.aspx. [Last Accessed 15 Nov 2012]
- Exxon Neftegas Limited. Sakhalin-1 Brochure. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sakhalin-1.com/Sakhalin/Russia-English/Upstream/Files/brochure_ENG.pdf. [Last Accessed 17 Nov 2012]
- Gazprom. Sakhalin 3. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.gazprom.com/about/production/projects/deposits/sakhalin3/. [Last Accessed 17 Nov 2012]
- Sakhalin Energy. Sustainable Development Report. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sakhalinenergy.com/en/documents/GRI_2011_Final_Eng.pdf. [Last Accessed 17 Nov 2012]
- Sakhalin Energy. TransSakhalin Pipeline System. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sakhalinenergy.ru/docs/FactLists/English/Pipeline.pdf. [Last Accessed 17 Nov 2012]
- Transparent World. Sakhalin. [ONLINE] Available at http://maps.transparentworld.ru/sakhalin/viewer.htm. [Last Accessed 15 Sept 2012]