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Russia announces oil production milestone above Arctic Circle

A division of Gazprom Neft said more than a dozen new wells were constructed so far this year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Russia announces oil production milestone above Arctic Circle
Russian oil company announces production milestone at a field above the Arctic Circle. Photo courtesy of Gazprom Neft.

May 5 (UPI) -- Nearly 200 tankers have left an oil field above the Arctic Circle in Russia that's passed the production milestone of 35 million barrels, Gazprom Neft said.

A subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy company Gazprom, said Friday total cumulative production from the Novoportovskoye field above the Arctic Circle has reached 5 million metric tons, or around 35 million barrels.

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"The Novoportovskoye oil and gas-condensate field is one of the most significant in the Yamal Peninsula," the company said in a statement. "Eighty-five wells are currently in operation at the field, producing between 50 and 1,100 tonnes of oil per day.

A total of 19 wells at the field have been constructed so far this year at the field. Pilot projects were completed in 2014 and shipments facilitated by an icebreaking-vessel made it so the company could start delivering oil from the extreme north about a year ago.

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Recently, the company revised its production schedule higher after a review of data found annual peak production rates could reach 35 million barrels. Development of the fields above the Arctic Circle is costly, however, with most Russian operators waiting for oil to move above $75 per barrel to review further opportunities.

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The price for Urals crude oil, the Russian benchmark for the price of oil, was trading around $47 per barrel early Friday.

Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoi said earlier this year that, while the market was prohibitive of further development, the Arctic region was still a strategic development opportunity.

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Gazprom Neft made its first winter shipment of oil from the Novy Port field to the European market in early 2015.

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