Friday, November 28, 2014

President of Russia

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Videoconference with Berkut drilling platform

In a videoconference linkup, Head of Rosneft Igor Sechin briefed Vladimir Putin on the start of operations at the Berkut stationary drilling platform in the Arkutun-Dagi field in the Sea of Okhotsk, as part of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project.

The Berkut platform is located 25 kilometres offshore in an area where the sea reaches a depth of 35 metres. The platform will use a drilling installation designed for operations at sea and making it possible to work year-round. Production at the Arkutun-Dagi field is expected to begin at the end of 2014.

* * *

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon friends.

First of all, I want to congratulate you on this big success – the installation of Berkut, Russia’s biggest oil and gas drilling platform, in the Sea of Okhotsk. 

Developing Sakhalin’s natural resources and continental shelf is of huge importance - one could say national importance - for Russia. Projects such as Berkut make it possible to develop rich but hard to access fields, build new facilities, create new jobs and in general build up the socioeconomic capability of the Far East, this region that is so important for our country. 

“Projects such as Berkut make it possible <...> to build up the socioeconomic capability of the Far East, this region that is so important for our country.”

The Berkut platform is a highly complex work of engineering and technology, incorporating unique design solutions. The platform was partially designed here in Russia, and was built here in cooperation with our South Korean partners. I want to thank the engineers, designers, workers and sailors, everyone who took part in building the platform and in its transportation, which was itself a very complicated task. 

I want to thank you all for your work and for your conscientiousness. I know that the platform will start developing the field this year, and we plan to reach an annual production volume of 4.5 million tonnes.

I know you have paid a lot of attention to environmental security. We all know how fragile nature is, especially in such regions. You have done a lot to ensure that problems in this area do not arise, and I hope that this will be the case. This work was carried out according to the strictest environmental standards, and they have been observed in full. This is also an achievement. 

I also want to note the positive work that Rosneft is doing with our American partners from ExxonMobil. I know that you have big plans together, including for developing new fields and building liquefied natural gas production facilities.

Once again, I want to congratulate you and wish you and your partners success in this big project together.

Mr Sechin, you have the floor.

ROSNEFT CEO IGOR SECHIN: Mr President,

We are 25 kilometres offshore on the shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk, on board this unique offshore production rig, Berkut, which will develop the Arkutun-Dagi field as part of the Sakhalin-1 project. I can report that the work to transport the platform’s upper section 1,400 nautical miles and fix it to the platform’s base went smoothly and without incident. 

The operations to fix the two sections together proceeded in accordance with safety demands. All systems supposed to be tested at this stage have been tested.

I ask you to give the order to start the procedures for beginning operations at the platform.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Begin!

“This [construction] work was carried out according to the strictest environmental standards, and they have been observed in full. This is also an achievement.”

IGOR SECHIN: I ask the duty operator to switch on energy supplies to the first section’s generators.

Mr President, as you can see, your order has brought the Berkut platform here behind me to life. The equipment that has started working will enable us to get the fire safety system, support systems and production equipment working. The oil will be produced in December this year.

Berkut is the biggest ice-resistant production platform in the world. It can withstand up to force-nine earthquakes, waves of up to 18 metres – practically a tsunami - and temperatures as low as minus 44 degrees while continuing to work. The platform operates using an autonomous energy system consisting of four 60-megawatt gas-turbine generators. There is also a 5.4-megawatt reserve energy system that can ensure the platform’s closed-cycle operation in any case. The drilling equipment is the most powerful such installation in the world and, according to the design, will be able to drill wells of at least 7 kilometres going vertically, and in principle can go to a depth of 14,000 metres. Such records have already been set by the Yastreb drilling installation. 

This is a highly complex project, but the gains for all participants are clear. In particular, our partners from Exxon

Mobil have a 30-percent stake in profits from production. Standing here beside me, Mr President, are our friends and partners, Glenn Waller, president of ExxonMobil Russia, Roger Higham, vice president of Exxon Neftegas, and Governor of Sakhalin Region Alexander Khoroshavin

Mr President, my report is over. I ask your permission to show a brief film about this unique platform.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Yes, go ahead. 

(The film is shown)

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Colleagues, I once more congratulate you most warmly and I wish you success not just with this project but in all your work together.

I already mentioned that you have big plans together. I wish you success with them and I want to thank once again the organisers of this big project and everyone who lent their talent, minds and hands to actually carrying it out. 

Good-bye.

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