Ensuring industrial safety when drilling wells and developing oil and gas field infrastructure on the shelf of the Arctic and Subarctic seas


ISSN 0536-1028 (Print)              ISSN 2686-9853 (Online)  
УДК 551.2.05 DOI: 10.21440/0536-1028-2021-8-24-33



Introduction. The Arctic and the Far East shelf has a true and considerable potential for existing and new oil and gas fields development in the Barents, Kara, and Okhotsk seas. Projects on the continental shelf are closely connected to Russia’s integrated development and quality of life, therefore being of prime national importance. The paper considers natural and man-induced hazards found in the course of exploration drilling and offshore field infrastructure development in freezing seas and high crustal seismicity. Risk management and industrial safety technologies are described in the paper.
Research objective is to obtain reliable information on the state of the environment and mineral resourses on the continental shelf of Arctic and Subarctic seas to ensure the safety of offshore oil and gas field development.
Methods of research included the complex analysis of natural hazards of the Russian shelf, including shallow methane, gas hydrates, ice load, and man-induced hazards, namely offshore blowouts, gas lenses penetration when drilling, and permafrost thawing. The data from geological engineering survey, marine electrical prospecting, geophysical well logging, drilling and the history of offshore field development have been studied.
Research results. A problem of safe offshore operations has been revealed. The problem may be efficiently solved by using advanced technologies for natural and man-induced hazard identification and prevention. Shallow gas deposited in the upper part of the section has been discovered for the first time through the results of geophysical well logging at the fields of the Gulfs of Ob and Taz.
Conclusions. Safe offshore production requires the comprehensive study of the project area’s natural and climatic conditions, as well as geological engineering survey, marine work data analysis, and deep hole surveys. It will make it possible to identify hazardous natural geological processes and prevent man-induced impact on the delicate environment when developing shelf oil and gas resources.

Keywords: shelf; drilling; offshore fields; field infrastructure development; man-induced hazard; natural hazard; oil and gas resources; gas hydrates; shallow gas; permafrost.



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