Sakhalin-2 is one of the world’s largest oil & gas projects, for which a comprehensive energy infrastructure for the production, transportation and processing of hydrocarbons was built. Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (Sakhalin Energy) is the Sakhalin II project operator. It delivers oil and LNG extracted from the north-eastern shelf of Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Okhotsk (oil comes from the Piltun-Astokhskoe field; gas derives from the Lunskoe field). The shareholders of Sakhalin Energy are subsidiaries of Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell plc., Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation.
The project’s infrastructure includes three offshore ice-resistant platforms, a pipeline system of 300km of pipes that covers the whole of Sakhalin, and also above-ground gas pipeline and oil pipeline, each 800km long, which connect to an onshore production facility, oil export terminal, and also Russia’s first (and so far only) LNG production plant.
The SCF fleet ships LNG from a terminal in the port of Prigorodnoye (Aniva Bay) in the south of the island. Deliveries began in March 2009, when the LNG carrier Grand Aniva transported the first shipment of Russian LNG. The Grand Aniva is one of Sovcomflot’s two ice-class LNG carriers working on Sakhalin-2, with a total capacity of 145,000 cubic metres. SCF Group owns and operates the carriers Grand Aniva and Grand Elena in partnership with the Japanese company NYK Line. These vessels transport LNG by sea to Japan, South Korea and China under long-term contracts with the project operator.
The oil & gas terminal in Prigorodnoye is operated by a joint venture between SCF Group and Sakhalin Energy.
Transportation of crude oil from the Sakhalin-2 project is undertaken under long-term contracts with the project operator by three ice-class Aframax shuttle tankers: the Zaliv Aniva, Sakhalin Island and Governor Farkhutdinov.
Another Sovcomflot vessel, the specialised ice breaking platform support vessel SCF Endurance, has worked on the project since 2009 under a long-term contract with Sakhalin Energy. In 2016 two similar ships added to SCF fleet - SCF Endeavour and SCF Enterprise. In 2017 three more supply vessels of a high ice class added to the SCF fleet and engaged in the Sakhalin-2 project: Gennadiy Nevelskoy, Stepan Makarov and Fedor Ushakov.
The ice-breaking vessels currently being constructed are a continuation of the Vitus Bering series, whose deign and technical parameters have been modified to meet the demands of the Sakhalin-2 project.
The arrival of three modern ice class vessels in this part of the Sea of Okhotsk allows for maritime safety and ecological risks to be managed effectively. One of the ships’ principle functions will be maintenance stand-by duty close to the platforms, where they will be ready at all times to react to emergencies. In case of evacuation they are able to hold up to 150 people on board.
The vessels’ diesel-electric installation and propulsion units have the very highest energy efficiency ratings. Their hulls are specially designed to navigate through icy conditions stern-first and are equipped with dynamic positioning systems, allowing them to remain in a balanced position close to the platform even during high ice cover. Their ice class is reinforced with Ice10 to Ice15, allowing for safe navigation in permanent floe-ice up to a thickness of 1.5 metres at a speed of 3 knots, and also allowing them to work independently and safely in pack ice up to a thickness of 4 metres.
Construction of these new modern supply vessels is a joint project between Russian and Finnish ship-builders. The ship-building contract has been signed with the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation. The vessels will be registered in Russia, and will sail under the flag of the Russian Federation with Russian crews on board.