The GSP Saturn drilling platform has been delivered for test drilling at the Dolginskoye field. The jackup rig was contracted by Gazprom Neft’s subsidiary, Gazpromneft Sakhalin, which operates the Dolginskoye field on the continental shelf in the Pechora Sea. An exploration well will be drilled from the platform during the ice-free months of 2014 to further investigate the field’s geological structure and prepare it for full-scale development. The sea at the drilling location is approximately 40m deep; the well will be 3,500m in length and located 75km offshore. The project documentation for the drilling work at Dolginskoye was approved at public hearings in Naryan-Mar (Nenets Autonomous Region) in December 2013.
Drilling will continue in 2015-2016, and Gazpromneft Sakhalin is in the process of selecting a subcontractor to carry out work during the ice-free seasons in the years that follow.
The GSP Saturn was transported to the location by a special Ice Class B vessel to ensure the utmost safety. Throughout the transportation from Vlissingen in the Netherlands to the platform’s destination, a rescue vessel was on hand round the clock to supervise and respond immediately to any potential incidents.
The rescue vessel will remain on duty 24 hours a day while the platform is in operation at the field. Gazpromneft Sakhalin has also chartered four vessels specially designed for the Arctic environment to carry out ancillary drilling operations. All of these are Ice Class and equipped with DP-2 dynamic positioning systems that allow them to maintain a fixed position for loading in extreme weather conditions. The field’s support fleet is equipped to all international naval safety standards.
The GSP Saturn is authorised to drill on the Arctic shelf and has undergone cutting edge refurbishment.* In April 2014 the platform was inspected by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), which confirmed its compliance with all drilling safety regulation. Lloyd’s Register Drilling Integrity Services, the world leaders in independent technical inspections of offshore drilling facilities, also approved the rig for Arctic operations. The audit took place in May 2014 confirming that all the necessary provisions for operating in severe climactic conditions were in place. At the end of May 2014 the Russian Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) performed an on-site inspection of the platform and confirmed its adherence to all of the requirements of Russian law pertaining to industrial and environmental safety.