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Greenpeace activists leave Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in Pechora Sea

August 25, 2012, 2:47 UTC+3
Prirazlomnaya personnel were showering the ecologists with water jets, although the air temperature was rather low
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ARKHANGELSK, August 25 (Itar-Tass) —— After spending six hours on the Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in the Pechora Sea six activists of the ecological organization Greenpeace left the platform, Greenpeace Russia website said.

“Prirazlomnaya personnel were showering the ecologists with water jets, although the air temperature was rather low. I looked like they were more concerned about causing harm to the activists, who were holding a peace protest action, than operating the drilling rig,” the statement runs.

According to the Greenpeace website, the activists interfered with the normal operation of one of the largest oil extraction projects in the Arctic and drew attention to the important problem of ecological security in northern latitudes.

The Greenpeace activists used mountaineering gear to climb the platform and spread streamers with calls for stopping oil drilling in the Arctic.

According to the rig’s owner Gazprom the activists failed to disrupt the operation of the oil platform.

“On Friday Greenpeace members ventured into the 500-meter navigation security zone around the drilling rig Prirazlomnaya and attached themselves to the rig with mountaineering gear. When invited to rise to the platform for a constructive dialogue, they refused, saying that they would keep hanging on the platform. All work on the drilling rig proceed as usual,” the press-service said.

The oil drilling rig Prirazlomnaya is getting ready for commercial operation in the Pechora Sea. It was built at the Sevmash naval shipyard in Severodvinsk under a contract with Gazprom for use at the same-name oil field. This is the world’s first platform capable of operating in the rigorous climate of the Arctic – pack ice and air temperatures falling to 50 degrees below freezing. The rig’s foundation on the seabed measures 126 meters by 126 meters. The highest point of the torch tower is 120 meters above the surface. The oil rig has a mass of 110,000 tonnes. The fuel tanks store 110,000 cubic meters of oil and the housing module accommodates 200. The platform is capable of drilling up to 40 wells year round, extract crude, carry out primary refining, store and reload hydrocarbons to tankers.

Prirazlomnoye’s recoverable reserves are estimated at 72 million tonnes, which allows to achieve an annual output of 6.6 million tonnes. The oil rig is hoped to achieve capacity operation in seven years from now.

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