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Marine project management

LUKOIL has a vast experience in implementing petroleum exploration and production projects in both northern and southern seas, and manages an offshore subsea pipeline system that is the most extended among the Russian oil and gas companies (over 550 km). 

LUKOIL operates the following offshore projects in Russia:

  • Baltic Sea: development of the Kravtsovskoye and D-41 fields;

  • Caspian Sea: development of the Korchagin and Filanovsky fields, facilities construction for the Grayfer field;

  • Barents Sea: Varandey offshore terminal for transshipment of petroleum products was built and is fully operational

Additional information for "Growth Projects" section of the site.

The exploration and production activities within the licensed blocks are taking place at the depth of less than 150 m. In Russia the Company carries out the exploration and production at the depth of less than 150 m meaning such projects are located in shallow water.  At the same time LUKOIL participates in deepwater projects abroad where the water depth at well sites exceeds 150 m.

LUKOIL is also a member of international consortia set up to implement exploration projects, including those targeting deep-water reserves.

  • Projects in which LUKOIL is not an operator are:

    • in the Gulf of Guinea, Caspian Sea (Azeri sector), Barents Sea (Norwegian sector), Gulf of Mexico (blocks 10 and 28);

  • Projects in which LUKOIL is an operator are:

    • in the Black Sea (Romanian sector);

    • in the Gulf of Mexico (Block 12).

Additional information for "International Projects" section of the site

Development of offshore fields is technologically more challenging than onshore development, and therefore calls for innovative solutions and technologies as well as the highest level of reliability of equipment and production processes.

As part of its safety management system LUKOIL has made it mandatory to assess risks of offshore projects using simulation scenarios while designing production activities, or operating production facilities.

The system of local regulations and internal standards and procedures of LUKOIL is modeled on the Rules for Safe Operation of Oil and Gas Offshore Facilities of the Federal Environmental, Industrial, and Nuclear Supervision Service of Russia and the Rules for Classification and Construction of Offshore Fixed Platforms and Pipelines of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

In their work, LUKOIL entities are guided by the Guidelines for Maintaining Integrity of Offshore Pipelines and corporate standards, establishing safety requirements that are stricter than those set by the Russian law. Also, model regulations are in effect, providing a classification of well defects and troubleshooting requirements. Any undertaken activities meet the provisions of such documents.

Given the high speed of pollution spreading in marine environments, ability to accumulate pollutants in seabed deposits, high risk of killing a major part of fish, fauna, and flora in case of accidents or chronic pollution, marine ecosystems are particularly susceptible to adverse exposure. The principal environmental risks that offshore projects involve include spills of oil, muds, or other hazardous fluids.

The Company has been consistently working to mitigate environmental risks and the probability of emergency spills. The comprehensive effort made by it provides a high degree of protection of the marine environment.

The key principle relied upon by LUKOIL in its offshore operations is the "zero discharge" principle that rules out any release of waste from production operations into the marine environment. All waste products are collected into leakproof containers and then taken onshore for decontamination and disposal.

See "Zero Discharge – Clean Sea" booklet for more detail.

Every offshore well construction project is subject to the State Environmental Impact Review and approval by respective regional executive authorities. The detailed design documents prepared for such construction projects feature estimates of damage to the environment and remedial actions.

Offshore facilities (wells and pipelines) are designed, constructed, maintained, inspected by divers, and repaired by reputable oilfield service companies possessing cutting edge technologies. Contracts are awarded following bidding procedures and technical audits. Independent experts are engaged by LUKOIL to check whether the design and engineering documentation meets the reliability and safety requirements.

All field operations are supervised by the LUKOIL Group entities through drilling supervisors (at the drilling sites) and process engineers. Seeking to increase the responsibility for the works and services, separate direct contracts are made for each type of well construction services (drilling, associated services, etc.).

The operation and condition of wells and pipelines is monitored on a round-the-clock basis and measurements are transmitted to the remote control system which is constantly supervised by the service personnel. The monitoring uses instrumental methods, including digital software products.

Various methods are used to maintain subsea pipelines in good technical condition, including annual diver inspections of pipeline routes. Intratubal and visual flaw detection techniques are used: pipeline wall thickness is measured, as well as metal loss / lamination, equipment layout; corrosion monitoring systems are installed and leak detection equipment is used.  Entities of the LUKOIL Group utilize Beluga, a Russian technology which allows making underwater pipeline repairs without interruption of product transfer operations.

LUKOIL puts a lot of effort into prevention and early detection of oil, gas and water shows as well as open blowouts. According to the international well control standards, wells utilize a control system consisting of two protection layers. The first protection layer prevents formation fluid inflow by maintaining the sufficient hydrostatic pressure of the liquid column. The second protection layer includes blowout preventors designed to seal the wellhead in case of oil, gas, and water shows, kill the well, if required, monitor its condition, bleed the pressure, and do various well operations.

The personnel must be familiarized with the respective blowout prevention guidelines against their signatures in the workplace safety briefings log. In order to maintain the quick response skills among the personnel, Blowout Prevention exercises are undertaken at least once a month. Personnel pass knowledge tests in the safety rules as part of respective personnel training exercises and classes.

The environmental and satellite monitoring aims at detecting oil contamination of offshore areas near the Company's operational sites and obtaining data on the state of marine environment and biological species.

In Russia, contracts are signed with specialized companies for the regular monitoring of the Baltic and Caspian Seas within the boundaries of respective license blocks. The monitoring aims to control about 300 parameters. New assessment techniques are used, including fixed bottom station observations, and identification of hydrocarbon pollution sources.

See Environmental Monitoring section for more detail.