Gazprom Neft ships first winter oil from arctic

Russian energy company's arctic ambitions had been targeted by environmentalists.

By Daniel J. Graeber

MOSCOW, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said Friday it made its first ever winter shipment of oil from a field located above the Arctic Circle.

The company said 117,280 barrels of crude was shipped on a tanker to European consumers from the Novoportovskoye, or Novy Port, field in the Yamal Peninsula under the escort of an icebreaking ship.


Board Chairman Alexander Dyukov said his company has invested "significant funds" in developing a commercial-scale arctic oil operation.

"We are continuing to actively develop these projects, and in just a few years they will account for a significant part of Gazprom Neft's production," he said in a statement.

Greenpeace has objected to Russian efforts to extract oil from the arctic, saying it poses a risk to the pristine ecosystem there.

Greenpeace last year used its Arctic Sunrise vessel to gain access to the Prirazlomnaya rig, deployed by Russian energy company Gazprom for work in the country's arctic waters. Two freelance journalists and 28 Greenpeace activists, dubbed the Arctic 30, were held by Russian authorities on piracy charges in 2013.


Gazprom Neft, the oil division of Russian energy company Gazprom, confirmed in September a tanker filled with 200,000 barrels of oil was shipped to markets in northwest Europe. It was the second tanker of oil delivered from the Novy Port field.

The company said more than 360,000 barrels of oil will be shipped from Novy Port during a winter period ending in May. Trials for winter shipments by tanker were approved in December.

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