Gazprom Neft and LUKOIL practise oil spill response in Arctic
Moscow. and Gazprom neft ran joint exercise "Arctic-2017" to simulate oil spill response in ice conditions in Arkhangelsk region. The exercise took place in the Barents Sea, near the Varandey fixed ice-resistant offloading terminal and Prirazlomnaya ice-resistant platform.
The exercise was initiated by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as part of activities held under the Year of Environment in Russia. Emergency rescue teams of the Ministry of Emergencies, Sovkomflot, Sea Rescue Service of the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport,
LUKOIL-Trans, Gazprom Neft Shelf and other organizations also participated in the exercise. The exercise involved over 15 units of equipment, 2 specialized vessels and more than 100 employees from LUKOIL entities.
The exercise scenario called for participants to respond to a simulated oil spill in ice conditions near the Prirazlomnaya platform and protect the shore line near the Varandey village from oil pollution resulting from a collision between an oil tanker and a support vessel, reports LIKOIL.
Results of the emergency response exercise have demonstrated that LUKOIL and Gazprom neft have sufficient manpower and resources to prevent and respond to oil spills in ice conditions of the Arctic seas.
LUKOIL’s Varandey fixed offshore ice-resistant offloading terminal is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's northernmost oil terminal. The distance to the shore is about 21 km. The facility is unique because it operates in harsh weather conditions: the Barents Sea is covered with ice on average during 247 days a year with the ice thickness reaching 1.25 - 1.8 m. Tankers can approach the terminal with the help of ice-breaking vessels equipped with firefighting systems for fire extinguishing at the terminal and tankers as well as modern oil spill cleanup equipment. The terminal features three levels of oil spill protection in case of any situation, including emergencies. The entire system operates automatically and guarantees safety of the environment. The terminal operates in line with the zero discharge principle adopted by LUKOIL meaning that not a single drop of production or household waste is discharged into Arctic waters. Varandey terminal facilities also include a shore-based tank farm and two subsea pipelines. All tanks have a double wall design to prevent any oil leaks or spills.