Sakhalin-1: Technology Development for Frontier Arctic Projects
- Karen Bybee (JPT Assistant Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 38 - 39
- 2009. Offshore Technology Conference
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This article, written by Assistant Technology Editor Karen Bybee, contains highlights of paper OTC 20208, "Sakhalin-1: Technology Development for Frontier Arctic Projects," by J.M. Hamilton, ExxonMobil Upstream Re - search, and J.E. Jones, ExxonMobil Development Company, originally prepared for the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 4-7 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
As the oil and gas industry pushes into frontier Arctic areas, new technologies and design criteria will be required to ensure safety and cost effectiveness of increasingly challenging developments. Sakhalin-1 provides a good example of a development in a frontier subarctic area where location-specific design criteria had to be developed and innovative-technology solutions were required to deal with demanding environmental conditions including sea ice, large breaking waves, and earthquakes.
First production from the Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) Sakhalin-1 Phase-1 development of Chayvo field began in October 2005, marking the culmination of nearly 10 years of design-criteria and technology development. The development concept consists of an offshore drilling platform, an onshore drilling and treating facility at Chayvo, an oil-export pipeline that runs east/west across the island and Tatar Strait to mainland Russia, and a storage and tanker export terminal at DeKastri. The oil is exported by ice-strengthened tankers south through the Tatar Strait, which is partially covered by up to medium first-year ice (70 to 120 cm) in the winter. The offshore drilling platform, Orlan, is approximately 10 km offshore in approximately 15-m water depth. The platform annually is exposed to approximately 4000 km of drifting first-year pack ice up to 1.5-m (level ice) thickness, which originates in the Sea of Okhotsk north of the island and drifts south along the eastern coast. The controlling ice load features are pressure ridges, with keels extending to depths greater than 30 m (2000-year design value). The design ice load on the 80-m-wide, vertical-sided structure is approximately 385 MN. Design wave loads are generated by late-summer and fall storms that can produce breaking waves at the platform. Global wave loads are on the order of the ice loads, and wave run-up and locally high slamming pressures represent design challenges. Sakhalin Island seismicity is moderate to high, with the active Piltun fault system running north/south on the island as close as 10 km from onshore facilities and 20 km from the offshore platform. The 1995 Neftegorsk earthquake, which registered moment magnitude 7.1, had its epicenter approximately 50 km from the Sakhalin-1 facilities. All facilities must be designed for earthquakes, and the export pipeline, which crosses multiple faults, must be able to withstand several meters of fault displacement.
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