Oil & Gas
Gazprom Neft Commissions New Heliport in Arctic
Gazprom Neft has commissioned its new Arctic heliport at its Varandey shift camp, with the first flight having already transported 16 shift workers to the
Gazprom Neft has commissioned its new Arctic heliport at its Varandey shift camp, with the first flight having already transported 16 shift workers to the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Barents Sea. The most cutting-edge solutions for arranging flights under the harsh conditions of the Arctic have been deployed in building the heliport, which is equipped with a landing strip, apron, passenger service area complete with air-traffic control tower, and facilities-support buildings. The heliport is equipped with the latest radio and meteorological equipment, navigation and lighting systems.
Up to 26 flights will leave for the Prirazlomnaya rig from the Arctic heliport every month. Total throughput at the airport is expected to hit 10,000 people per year once maximum traffic-handling capacity is reached.
Design and construction of the airport was started in 2015, with about 50,000 tonnes of construction materials being delivered to Varandey in the space of five years freight being delivered by sea during the summer from the port of Archangelsk, and over winter ice roads during the cold season. All buildings at the Arctic heliport have been built 2.5 metres above ground-level to protect natural permafrost soils and to protect the area from sea flooding. The complex is equipped with standalone essential infrastructure, including its own boiler room, diesel power plant, transformer substation, water-supply and sanitation systems, and a sewage treatment facility.
Crews are transported to the Prirazlomnaya rig in modernised Mi-8 AMT helicopters from Gazpromavia. Transport and logistics strategy at Prirazlomnaya involves several such vehicles, specially equipped — in line with stringent safety regulations — for flights over water. Every helicopter is equipped with emergency light strips, push-out windows and two 25-person life rafts. The flight time from Varandey to the Prirazlomnaya rig is typically around 40 minutes.
The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the south—east of the Barents Sea, 60 kilometres offshore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 79 million tonnes. The licence to develop this field is held by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft. Commercial development of the Prirazlomnoye field started in December 2013. A new oil blend, “ARCO”, was launched on the global market in April 2014. Gazprom Neft produced its 15-millionth tonne of oil at the Prirazlomnoye field in November 2020.