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(Sakhalin LNG plant)
Gas production in Russia could pave the way for successful arctic drilling projects after new techniques helped improve efficiency during the region’s harsh winters. The creation of Russia’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Sakhalin island has meant overcoming a number of obstacles similar to those faced within the Arctic region – an increasingly attractive prospect as proven oil and gas reserves decline.
The success of the programme – which has seen the use of “big bore wells” cutting operating costs and increasing gas flow – is an example of how viable working in such harsh conditions can be. Andrei Galaev is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd., the company running the first Russian LNG plant, which has an 800km network of onshore pipelines. He says: “One of the biggest challenges facing the oil and gas industry is that there are less resources that could be easily developed. More frequently the industry is being forced further north and into drilling deeper to discover and extract hydrocarbons."
“It seems almost inevitable that Arctic exploration will take place and there are a lot of similarities between the challenges the industry will face there and what we have been doing at Sakhalin. Certainly the conditions offshore are as harsh as the subarctic ones and the experience Sakhalin Energy gets could be used by those who are looking to develop these barren areas.”
As a result of its recent successes, Sakhalin Energy is now becoming one of the leading energy exporters to Asia Pacific’s highly competitive energy market.
Galaev says: “Sakhalin Energy was the first in Russia to start developing shelf deposits with offshore platforms. The project and Sakhalin Energy activity are associated with progressive engineering and design, as well as unique, innovative technologies applied in the severe natural and climatic conditions of the remote region.”