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Complex plan on elimination of unexpected oil spills prepared

Overall, 350 liters of oil had been spilled at all objects of the Sakhalin Energy Company (the project's operator) since the start of oil production under the Sakhalin 2 project till present whereas the whole amount of produced oil totaled 72mln of barrels (i.e. about one liter of spilled oil per 32,800,000 liters of produced oil).

In accordance with modern international practice of realization of energy projects, Sakhalin Energy will submit to the Russian authorities a complex plan on liquidation of unexpected oil spills accompanied by detailed description of newest technologies and procedures envisaged for usage in frames of the second stage of Sakhalin 2 project in the near future till transition to all-the-year-around producing hydrocarbons will start by the end of 2007.

As it was stressed at the company, ice-fields near the north-eastern coast of Sakhalin have many ice-holes in which spilled oil will accumulate in cases of emergency being accessible for collecting. In particular, if ice surface totals 50%-70%, it seriously hampers in spreading oil; if ice surface totals 70% and more, it guarantees efficient localization of oil spills. In such case, oil will accumulate in ice-holes from which it will be removed by oil-spill boats, if they are able to find the spills and to reach them.

Special booms including strengthened ones will be used by Sakhalin Energy for elimination of oil pollutions in patches of ice-free water, as well as drain catchers and other devices. If spilled oil gets under ice, the company will be able to use its ice-breakers on duty which will break ice and allow oil to get to water surface from which it will be removed. The vessels are planned to be provided with incendiary devices for setting fire to oil spilled on ice or accumulated in ice-holes. The company develops procedures of observing ice conditions and monitoring which will take into consideration both ecological conditions of Sakhalin including ice conditions and characteristics of Sakhalin light oil. Additionally, Sakhalin Energy plans to purchase the newest technologies in observing ice conditions; it is examining a possibility of usage of already produced systems of distant observation, as well as ones which under development now. Additionally, Sakhalin Energy is going to continue to search for the most efficient methods aimed at liquidating unexpected oil spills and planning appropriate measures. The company will initiate and finance the activity both independently and together with its business partners and other operators of oil and gas projects.

The Sakhalin 2 project is implemented in accordance with production-sharing agreement (PSA). It envisages development of Piltun-Astokhsk and Lunsk gas deposits whose minable reserves amount to 150mln tons of oil and 500bn cubic meters of gas. The Sakhalin Energy Company is operator of the project; its stockholders are Royal Dutch/Shell (55%), Mitsui (25%), and Mitsubishi (20%).

At the second stage of the project, 800-km long oil and natural gas pipelines from the north to the south of Sakhalin are being constructed to transport the natural gas to an LNG plant for liquefying and to an oil terminal.


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