A major decision about the surface facilities for the giant Barents Sea Shtokman development will be made this year.
This will entail either a fixed or floating platform and a secondary “transition platform” so that helicopters can handle the huge 600-km (375-mile) offshore commute. Herve Madeo, deputy chief executive of the Shtokman Development Company and project director, spelled out the technical issues confronting the $15billion Russian development which will have to be solved to hit a 2013 onstream target date.
“This project is going to pave the way to developing the Arctic and the Barents Sea and so this project will be under the spotlight in every sector of the world,” said Madeo, who was previously vice-president for field operations in Total’s exploration and production division.
Speaking in Paris, Madeo said the design of the surface facility – for which front-end engineering is being performed by Paris-based Doris Engineering with a Russian partner – would either be a spar or a floating production unit supporting between 40,000 and 45,000 tonnes of topsides, but it might require a facility for rapid disconnection from the field if threatened by a major iceberg.
Asked about the disconnectable concept for the spar or floater required for phase one, Madeo said: “A decision will be due in August.”
Aberdeen-based Wood Group subsidiary JP Kenny is already working on FEED (front-end engineering and design) studies for the 42in 550km (340-mile) export pipeline from the field to the beach in Russia.
JPK is teamed with the Russian Institute Prospectcgaz, while France’s Technip has landed engineering work for the first-phase onshore gas terminal and LNG plant. But bigger contracts are expected in future as a final investment decision is due in 2009 after evaluation of tenders for engineering, procurement and construction work.
Shtokman field reserves are put at 3.8trillion cu m of gas – enough to supply the world for 1.3 years – plus 36.9million tonnes of light oil condensate. The field was discovered in 1988 in a water depth of 350m (1,148ft) and seven appraisal and delineation wells have been drilled since, identifying four producing formations, J0, J1, J2 and J3. The project has been a candidate for development since Energy’s visit to Murmansk in 1992.