Currently, there are no production oil/gas platforms on the Russian side of the Barents Sea. On the Norwegian part there is one field in production (Snøhvit) and one field in the planning-phase (Goliat) (Figure 2.5.11).
Snøhvit is a gas and condensate field with an underlying thin oil zone. The field is located in the central part of the Hammerfest basin, and is developed with subsea templates with slots for 19 production wells and one CO2 injection well. So far, nine production well and one CO2 injection well has been completed. Snøhvit is the first development in the Barents Sea, and has no surface installations. The gas is being transported to Melkøya outside Hammer¬fest in a 160 km pipeline. The field came on stream in august 2007, and has produced approximately 3 million Sm3 in oil equivalents in 2008.
The reception facility at Melkøya outside Hammerfest receives the unprocessed well stream from Snøhvit. Gas condensate, water and CO2 are separated before the natural gas is being cooled down to liquid form (LNG) and stored in huge tanks. The gas is transported to the buyers in specially built tankers. CO2 is transported back to the field in a separate pipeline, and is injected in a deep formation under the producing reservoir.
Goliat is located 50 km southeast of Snøhvit, only 70 km from the coast of Norway, and is a field in the developing phase. The field will be developed with a floating production and storage facility with subsea wells. Oil will be processed at the installation and transported by ship. The plan for the associated gas is to inject it into the reservoir for pressure support, Production of the gas will be evaluated at a later stage. The plan is that production drilling will start in 2011, and that field will come on stream in late 2013. The recoverable resources in Goliat are approximately 28 million Sm3 oil and approx. 7,5 billion Sm3 of gas.
Prirazlomnoye oil field
In the Russian part of the Barents Sea the oil production will start at Prirazlomnoye oil field. Prirazlomnoye oil field is one of the largest among the proven oil reserves in the Russian western Arctic shelf. Discovered in 1989, the Prirazlomnoye field is located in the Pechora Sea, about 60 km north of the Nenets Autonomous Region coast. The sea depth is 19 metres. According to adjusted production plans by Gazprom, commercial production will start in 2011. Initial geological oil reserves (C1+C2) of the field are estimated as 231.1 million tons (total geologically discovered oil reserves), and cumulative production should amount 76 million tons for the planned operation period of 23 years.
The largest among discovered oil fields in the Pechora Sea, Dolginskoye, with proven reserves of 235 million tons of oil is located north of Prirazlomnoye. Up to 2010 Gazflot plans to drill 7 new exploration wells at Dolginskoye and get the first oil in 2015.
Oil production is planned on three more licensed sites in the Pechora Sea – Medynsko-Varandeyskiy area, Kolokolmorskiy and Pomorskiy blocks. The licenses are owned by Arktikshelfneftegaz, and the oil fields can be put in operation after 2010. The estimated recoverable hydrocarbon reserves of these three blocks may exceed 300 million tons of oil.
The Russian Arctic shelf biggest hope is the Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea. This field is located in the central part of the Russian sector of the Barents Sea shelf, about 600 km northeast of the city of Murmansk at local sea depths of 320-340 metres. In 2008, Vyborg Shipbuilding Plant started construction of two semi-submersible drilling rigs for Gazflot, a subsidiary of Gazprom, to drill production wells on the Shtokman field. Shtokman gas and condensate field was discovered in 1988. The plan is to get the first production gas at Shtokman in 2013, and the first LNG in 2014.
There is an increasing interest for exploration in the Barents Sea. The development of Snøhvit has shifted attention towards the area once more, as have new discoveries of oil and gas resources in the Hammerfest Basin and the previously little investigated eastern part of the Barents Sea. The large discoveries in the Russian part of the Barents Sea have also contributed to the increased interest for the Norwegian part. The Barents Sea is in general little investigated, even though it is assumed that the Arctic contains a substantial part of the world's undiscovered petroleum resources.