Arkhangelsk: The Russian shipyard in Severodvinsk has begun testing the first sea drilling platform for Gazprom`s operations in the Arctic.
The self-lifting drilling rig called Arkticheskaya (Arctic) was placed on 139-meter-high pillars in Zvyozdochka shipyard. "It was the first stage of the comprehensive
dockside trial for the drilling rig," the shipyard`s press service said on Monday, adding that the platform would be handed over to Gazprom in the summer of 2010.
The construction of the platform for Gazflot, a subsidiary of Gazprom, began in 1995. Later the company decided to revise the project in order to increase the operational properties and economic effectiveness of the platform.
The maximum sea depth for drilling has been increased from 30 to 100 metres, which allows the platform to be used in a larger number of offshore areas. The platform will be used for drilling operations in the Arctic.
The platform was designed by the Sevastopol-based Korall. The self-propelled platform is 88 metres long, 66 metres wide and 9.7 metres high, weighs over 16,000 tonnes and needs a crew of 90 people. It can drill 12 wells as deep as 6.5 kms.
Earlier, Zvyozdochka and Gazprom`s subsidiary Sevmorneftegaz signed an agreement on cooperation in the development of Arctic offshore oil and gas fields.
The agreement focuses on the development of infrastructure of one of Zvyozdochka`s branches, 35th Ship Repair Plant, in Murmansk.