The Varandey oil terminal on the coast of the Barents Sea will be opened in June this year, Lukoil confirms. The company has invested 4 billion USD in the project, which will help boost exports through northern waters, BarentsObserver.com reports.
The new terminal will lead to increased shipping of Russian oil in the Barents Sea. Most of the oil will be transported to Murmansk where it will be reloaded for exports. The Varandey terminal, located north in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, will be used for export from the Yuzhno-Khilchuyuskoe field which is one of the biggest in the area. It will produce an annual 7,5 million tons of oil, all of which will be exported through the Varandey terminal.
The development of this field has not proceeded without problems, however. BarentsObserver reports that an uncontrolled outburst of gas took place from one of the wells in the area in February this year.
The Varandey terminal is also expected to be used in connection with the Prirazlomnoe field, the first ever Russian offshore project in the Barents Sea. After numerous delays, production at Prirazlomnoe is now believed to start in the course of 2009.
The projects are managed by Naryanmarneftegas, a joint venture of Lukoil (50%) and ConocoPhillips (50%).
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