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Vol. 13, No. 25 Week of June 22, 2008
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Our Arctic Neighbors: Briefs

Jack-up rig progresses at glacial pace

The Zvezdochka shipyard in northwest Russia’s Arkhangelsk Oblast has completed one of the most complicated technological parts of its Arkticheskaya floating jack-up drilling rig. The lower parts of the platform support pillars were submerged to a depth of 66 feet, and the platform unit was placed on top of them, the shipyard said in May 28.

The Arkticheskaya rig has been under construction for more than 10 years and it is not clear when it will be completed. The 289-foot long and 216-foot-wide platform is intended for use in the Barents and Pechora seas, and its maximum drilling depth is 21,320 feet. The rig can accommodate 90 workers.

—Sarah Hurst

Gazprom happy with rig for Yamal field

Uralmash-VNIIBT, a subsidiary of Moscow-based oilfield service company and drilling rig manufacturer Integra Group, has completed the construction of its BU 4200/250 drilling rig for Gazprom’s Bovanenkovskoe gas field on the Yamal Peninsula. The rig has been named Ekaterina, after the city of Ekaterinburg in central Russia where it was built. Uralmash-VNIIBT will supply a total of 11 rigs to Bovanenkovskoe under the contract.

“As a customer we are completely satisfied with the work done by Uralmash,” said Andrei Rossinsky, managing director of Gazprom’s drilling subsidiary Burgaz. “Before we started our cooperation we conducted a detailed review of the design, engineering and production capabilities of the project team and were entirely satisfied. We have a positive impression from joint work with this contractor, product quality and time of delivery, which is currently ahead of schedule,” he added.

—Sarah Hurst

Gazprom pioneers permafrost construction

Russia’s state-owned Gazprom has completed the main construction stage of a crossing over the Yuribey River floodplain as part of its preparations for the Bovanenkovskoe gas field development on the Yamal Peninsula, the company said June 10. The crossing will be part of the Obskaya-Bovanenkovo railroad. In total almost two miles of the crossing (78 percent of the total planned length) have been built, including 88 bridge arms and 87 spans.

Most of the work could only be done during the winter and construction took place on a round-the-clock basis for 235 days. More than 1,300 people were employed at the construction site. “The crossing is unparalleled in the world’s bridge construction practice both in terms of design and the climatic and permafrost conditions of construction and operation,” Gazprom said. “In particular, the crossing is being constructed without the traditional deposition of soil, which makes it possible to preserve the river floodplain’s ecosystem.” Wells 66-131 feet deep were drilled to stabilize crossing arms under permafrost conditions.

Some sections of the Obskaya-Bovanenkovo railroad are already in operation, and 15 station sidings, 37 river crossings and 262 culverts have been constructed so far. The railroad is expected to be complete by late 2009.

—Sarah Hurst



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