Gazprom Neft Shelf as commissioned the first reinjection well to dispose of drilling waste material at the Russian Arctic oil field Prirazlomnoye.The waste material to be reinjected is produced during well construction and consists of drilling mud, waste water and drilling cuttings.
Injection will take place into strata above the production horizon, ensuring its protection from higher and underlying layers. “The absorption well significantly improves the security, manageability and cost-effectiveness of the project, making possible the direct recycling of waste directly on the platform, with no impact on the environment,” said Gennady Lubin, executive director of Gazprom Neft Shelf.
The Prirazlomnoye oil field is the world’s first project involving oil extraction on the Arctic shelf using a stationary platform. It is located 55 kilometers from shore at water depths of 20 meters. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 70 million tons. First oil was shipped from the field in April 2014, and peak production of five million tons is planned for about 2020.
The Russian designed and built Prirazlomnaya rig is anchored to the seabed. The rig has walls some three metres thick that separate drilling activities from the surrounding environment.
The area experiences severe Arctic conditions with wind and sub-zero temperatures prevailing for almost five months of the year, ice cover from November to May and 24-hour darkness for almost two months.
Two production wells are currently in operation at the field, together with the injection well. It is expected that 32 wells will be commissioned for the project.