Offshore oil production is less than 3% of Russia’s total but Russia has grandiose plans for oil and gas production in the Arctic ocean as well as the Black Sea and the Far Eastern seas. ExxonMobil’s and Shell/s experience operating Sakhalin’s offshore fields seems to position them as the most logical choices for Rosneft/Gazprom’s partners in the Arctic.
But what does Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya platform have to do with all this?
It’s a long story, but to make it short, the platform took around 15 years to build at the SevMash plant in Severodvinsk near Arkhangelsk. Apparently, Gazprom changed the specifications once or twice so the platform had to be redesigned. Eventually it became a hybrid: on top of the Russian-made lower deck, they installed a section of an old, out of service North Sea platform. According to Vladimir Milov (link in Russian), it cost about $3 bln to build and install.
But how much will the next Russian Arctic platform cost and how long will it take to build?