Krylov Centre dipped into the future of Prirazlomnaya platform
The Krylov State Research Center says it has completed a major research project: comprehensive analysis of the oil production and marine transportation infrastructure of the offshore platform Prirazlomnaya — the first Russian offshore oil production project of Gazprom Neft. The Krylov Centre has performed this far-reaching study for Gazprom Neft Shelf (Gazprom Neft subsidiary) to simulate and investigate the marine transportation logistics of Prirazlomnaya till the year 2038.
Gazprom Neft is striving to ensure high levels of performance efficiency, environmental friendliness and industrial safety of the Prirazlomnoye oil field in harsh ice conditions. The purpose of Krylov’s study was to find ways for further improvement of the efficiency and safety of marine transportation system keeping in mind the target production level of about 5 million tons per year to be reached in 2021–2024.
For coping with this challenging task Krylov’s scientists have developed a unique tool — computer simulation model capturing a wide range of engineering details, physical and logistic processes to make simulations as realistic as possible. This software tool was employed to model a range of various transportation system configurations covering the full production life cycle of the platform. Over 12000 simulation runs taking 3000 hours of computer time were done to examine operations up to the year 2038. The research scope included analysis of 12 specific improvement measures appraised individually and in various combinations: variation of oil offloading rates, additional icebreaker, simultaneous ship operations at different terminals of the platform, etc. As a result, all necessary technical and operational characteristics as well as their statistic distribution laws were found for each option of the transportation system.
This extensive study based on agent-based and discrete-event simulations is the world’s first-in-kind effort of such scale and scope for Arctic offshore projects. Based on these valuable research inputs a package of engineering and management solutions has been elaborated to streamline ship/platform interactions.
A probabilistic «weather generator» was developed to model winds, waves, currents, ice drift, visibility and other environmental conditions for accurate analysis of environmental effects on offloading terminals at the platform site. Environment conditions determine weather windows for 4 offloading terminals and shuttle tankers.
Apart from full-scale data inputs, the appropriate parameters of ship operations around the platform were determined based on navigation simulations at the special-purpose research simulation facility of the Krylov Centre. Operation of vessels on Murmansk — Platform leg was simulated in GIS space including environmental and navigation conditions of this route. Ship speeds and fuel consumption rates were estimated from special computational models used not only in ship operation simulations but also for logistic planning. A special computational module was developed to match the platform’s material requirements with the timetables of relevant supply vessels. Also, detail forecasts of cargo traffic were made for the system. Special care was taken to confirm the simulation model accuracy and prove that this model provides valid predictions of the platform performance.
Prirazlomnoye oil field is the only oil producing project on the Russian Arctic Shelf today. Commercial production was launched in December 2013. A new oil grade ARCO first hit the global market in April 2014. The license holder is Gazprom Neft Shelf (Gazprom Neft subsidiary).
Prirazlomnoye oil field was discovered 60 km offshore in the Pechora sea in 1989. Recoverable oil reserves exceed 70 million tons. The offshore ice-resistant fixed-type platform (OIRFP) Prirazlomnaya was built to develop this oil field. The platform is designed to operate in extremely harsh environment, it meets all modern safety requirements and sustains huge ice loads.
All wells of the field are contained within the platform footprint: its substructure is also a buffer between the wells and open sea. The water depth at the field is 20 m. The wellhead equipment prevents uncontrolled blowup of oil or gas. A wet method of oil storage is used at the platform. The method eliminates the possibility of oxygen getting inside the tanks and thus prevents the creation of an explosive environment.
The offloading line to tanker is equipped with a shutdown system activated immediately in case of any accident. Stand-by icebreakers equipped with the state-of-the-art oil recovery systems are keeping vigil over the platform.
Prirazlomnaya is a zero-discharge facility: drilling mud, cuttings and other wastes are re-injected into a special purpose absorbing well.