Russia’s Krylov Centre has completed a comprehensive analysis of the oil production and marine transportation infrastructure for the offshore platform Prirazlomnaya to simulate and investigate the marine transportation logistics of the field until 2038.
The study evaluated potential improvements in efficiency and safety whilst maintaining the target production level of about five million tons per year, to be reached in 2021–2024.
Krylov scientists developed a unique computer model capturing a wide range of engineering details, physical and logistic processes, to make the simulations as realistic as possible. The software was employed to model a range of transportation system configurations covering the full production life cycle of the platform.
Over 12,000 simulation runs taking 3,000 hours of computer time were done to examine operations up until 2038. The study, based on agent-based and discrete-event simulations, is a world first of such scale and scope for Arctic offshore projects.
The research scope included analysis of 12 specific improvement measures appraised individually and in various combinations: variation of oil offloading rates, additional icebreaker, simultaneous ship operations at different terminals of the platform, etc. As a result, all the necessary technical and operational characteristics of for each option were detailed.
A probabilistic weather generator was developed to model winds, waves, currents, ice drift, visibility and other environmental conditions for accurate analysis of environmental effects on offloading terminals at the platform site. Environment conditions determine weather windows for four offloading terminals and shuttle tankers.
The appropriate parameters for ship operations around the platform were determined based on navigation simulations at the special-purpose research simulation facility at the Krylov Centre. Ship speeds and fuel consumption rates were estimated from special computational models used not only in ship operation simulations but also for logistic planning.
A special computational module was developed to match the platform’s material requirements with the timetables of relevant supply vessels. Also, detail forecasts of cargo traffic were made for the system.
Prirazlomnaya is Russia’s first offshore oil production project and is operated by Gazprom Neft. The Krylov Centre performed the study for Gazprom Neft Shelf (a Gazprom Neft subsidiary).
The Prirazlomnoye oil field was discovered 60 kilometers (37 miles) offshore in the Pechora Sea in 1989. Commercial production from Prirazlomnoye started December 2013. Recoverable oil reserves exceed 70 million tons.
The offshore ice-resistant fixed-type platform Prirazlomnaya was built to develop the oil field. The platform is designed to operate in extremely harsh environment and sustain huge ice loads.
All wells of the field are contained within the platform footprint: its substructure is also a buffer between the wells and open sea. The water depth at the field is 20 meters (66 feet). The wellhead equipment prevents uncontrolled blowup of oil or gas. A wet method of oil storage is used at the platform. The method eliminates the possibility of oxygen getting inside the tanks and thus prevents the creation of an explosive environment.
The offloading line to tankers is equipped with a shutdown system activated immediately in case of any accident. Stand-by icebreakers equipped with the state-of-the-art oil recovery systems are on-site.
Prirazlomnaya is a zero-discharge facility: drilling mud, cuttings and other wastes are re-injected into a special purpose absorbing well.