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The Berkut drilling platform put into operation

27 June 2014

Rosneft and ExxonMobil within the framework of the Sakhalin-1 consortium put into operation the Berkut platform at the Arkutun-Dagi field having successfully installed topside at gravity base structure.

On 27 June the platform was put into operation in the course of video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At that time Rosneft President, Chairman of the Management Board Igor Sechin, ExxonMobil Russia President Glenn Waller, and Exxon Neftegas Limited Vice-President Roger Higham were at the platform. Russian President launched the commissioning of the gas and oil producing platform.

«Developing Sakhalin’s natural resources and continental shelf is of huge importance, - Vladimir Putin said, - one could say national importance - for Russia. Projects such as Berkut make it possible to develop rich but hard to access fields, build new facilities, create new jobs and in general build up the socioeconomic capability of the Far East, this region that is so important for our country».

«I also want to note the positive work that Rosneft is doing with our American partners from ExxonMobil. I know that you have big plans together, including for developing new fields and building liquefied natural gas production facilities», - added the President of Russia.

In order to install the topside of the platform there has been carried out a unique transportation operation of its delivery to the destination point at a distance of more than 2600 km. In the process of manufacture, delivery, and installation of the fundamental topside, there have been set a number of industry world records, including float-over installation method on the open sea. The weight of the topside is 42 thousand tons, and the total weight (top and bottom) exceeds 200 thousand tons. This is the world's largest construction of this kind. All the operations on the connection at the Berkut platform have been carried out with due regard to safety requirements, and all the systems subject to connection from the first stage have been tested.

'According to the development simulation model, the existing world's most powerful drilling platform provides for well drilling with horizontal displacement not less than 7 km, and technically up to 14 thousand meters,' Igor Sechin said after the launch of the platform. 'Such records have already been achieved, it's the drilling rig Yastreb. Despite complication of the project, benefits for all the participants are straightforward. This includes the 30% share of our partners from ExxonMobil in profit production.'

In the short term at the Berkut platform there will be put into operation fire-fighting systems, and housing of the accommodation block will start. This autumn, as soon as simulation tests of drilling systems are finished, drilling of the first exploitation well will be launched.

The beginning of production at the platform is scheduled for the end of this year. The development of the Arkutun-Dagi field will add up to 4.5 million tons of oil to the annual production of Sakhalin-1 project. The Rosneft project will provide for significant investments in the economy of the Far East region.

The drilling platform Berkut is a notable proof of high professionalism and distinctive competences of Rosneft in the shelf area of the Russian Federation. The beginning of Berkut operation will strengthen the position of Russia in the world markets, strengthen energy security of the country, and increase the Sakhalin region treasury revenues.

Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office

The Berkut drilling platform

Notes for Editors

The length of the platform is 105 meters, its width is 60 meters, and the height with the bottom is 144 meters. It almost equals the 50-storied building. According to the development simulation model, the existing world's most powerful drilling platform provides for well drilling with horizontal displacement not less than 7 km. As a result, the platform virtually appears as a giant multiple well platform, which allows maximum efficient offshore development.

Only from this platform there will be drilled 45 wells with the highest daily flowrate of 12 thousand tons, which will provide 4.5 million tons of oil annually. There is scheduled drilling of 28 oil producing, 16 water-injection wells, and 1 well for cutting re-injection. The platform is located at a distance of 25 km from the coast, in the area, where sea depth reaches 35 meters.

There is installed the world's most powerful top drive of the blasthole drill at the Berkut platform with rotational moment of the top drive of 142 kilonewtons per meter, and lifting capacity of the machine of 1150 tons. This allows to drill wells with maximum vertical deviation up to 7 km, which is significant for efficiency and safety of offshore drilling. Here has been installed the first integrated system of the drilling process integration, which means that the drilling is carried out almost without hand-labour.

The Berkut platform has introduced the earthquake protection system for the first time in the world, which is able to stand 9 magnitude earthquakes without violation of operation efficiency. Berkut can stand low temperatures and is designed for operation under the conditions of -25ºC. It can stand the 18 meters wave (almost a tsunami) and 2 meter ice pressure.

All the habitability of the platform is provided by the off-grid power system, which consists of 4 gas-turbine units of 60 MW operating on associated gas separated at the platform with possible cogeneration on diesel oil if required. There is provided a reserve scheme consisting of 3 diesel generators of total capacity of 5.4 MW, which provide standalone service of the platform with no environmental release.

The construction of gravity base structure of the platform began in 2009 at a port of Nakhodka. Over 2000 people have been working on the construction site. Over 2000 experts have been engaged in the construction of the base structure. The Rosneft project has provided significant investments in the economy of the region. Just in the construction area there have been installed 2 batching plants, which have been using gravel from local mines.

There has been installed so-called ice lining to provide additional protection against ice formations. This unique engineering solution has been developed with the participation of leading Rosneft experts.

Sakhalin-1 is the first large-scale shelf project carried out in the Russian Federation on the PSA conditions (executed in 1996). Within the Sakhali-1 project there have been extracted 64 million tons. Oil production will increase by 33% with regard to current figures by 2018. Thanks to the development of the Arkutun-Dagi field, oil production under Sakhalin-1 project will exceed 10 million tons by 2018.

Shares of the project participants:
Rosneft - 20%
ExxonMobil – 30%
SODECO – 30%
ONGC Videsh Ltd. – 20%

Rosneft Information Division
Tel.: +7 (499) 517-88-97
June 27, 2014


These materials contain statements about future events and expectations that are forward-looking in nature. Any statement in these materials that is not a statement of historical fact is a forward-looking statement that involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements to differ. We assume no obligations to update the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in factors affecting these statements.