Sakhalin Energy starts oil exports from Aniva Bay

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 17 -- Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. has started exporting oil from Molikpaq platform to the terminal in Aniva Bay in the south of Sakhalin, which will be dedicated to year-round oil deliveries.

The company has commissioned the 800-km TransSakhalin oil and gas pipeline system, which connects the offshore Molikpaq, Piltun-Astokhskoye-B, and Lunskoye platforms in the northeast to the new terminal and Prigorodnoye port in Aniva Bay. Oil was exported through a tanker loading unit which was 4.5 km offshore in Aniva Bay and connected to the terminal by an subsea pipeline.

The Governor Farkhutdinov giant tanker carrying 100,000 tonnes of oil left the island and set sail for South Korea's Yosu port, according to Russian news reports. At peak, Prigorodnoye will annually serve 160 LNG carriers and 100 Aframax oil tankers.

The milestone represents a major step in commissioning the facilities. The operator also will start LNG processing in the next few weeks. LNG supplies to customers in Japan will start begin in February (OGJ Online, Nov. 28, 2008). The Piltun-Astokhskoye-B platform also will send oil later this month.

The $20 billion Sakhalin-2 project has been unable to export year-round as its offshore facility could work for only 6 months of the ice-free season. "Year-round production and export of the Sakhalin-2 oil will significantly enhance energy security in the Asia Pacific and strengthen Russia's position in the world markets," Sakhalin Energy said.

Sakhalin-2 involves oil and gas production from Piltun-Astokhskoye field, which includes Piltun and Astokh oil and gas areas, and Lunskoye field.

SEIC has produced more than 100 million bbl of the Vityaz crude since 1999. The company is a joint venture of OAO Gazprom 50% plus 1 share, Royal Dutch Shell PLC 27.5%, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. 12.5%, and Mitsubishi Corp. 10%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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