Significant growth for Russian oil producers in 2015

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 06:30 By Arina Ulyanova, Murmansk State Humanities University

In 2015, over 800,000 tons of crude oil was produced on the Prirazlomnaya platform. This figure is 2.5 times higher than the volume extracted on the Russian Arctic shelf in 2014, reports Gazprom Neft Shelf.

"In 2015, we not only reached the planned number of new oil wells and volume of oil production, but also managed to ensure production safety on the shelf in extreme Arctic conditions," said Gazprom Neft Shelf general director Gennady Lyubin.

He also added that plans call for doubling oil production in 2016 and that compliance with safety and environmental regulations will be the priority.

In 2014-2015, the Prirazlomnoye field extracted over 1.1 million tons of oil. There are currently two extraction wells, and one injection well, operating at the field.

The Prirazlomnoye oil field is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 km off the coast. The prospective oil reserves exceed 70 million metric tons. This is the world's first offshore oil rig in the Arctic. Production started in December 2013.

Oil production in the Barents Region
Last year became rather successful for Russian oil producers. In total, 29,500 thousand tons of oil were shipped from fields located in the Nenets AO and Komi Republic. This is the highest rate in five years, show statistics of Patchwork Barents. Comparatively, in 2010 there was extracted 31,231 thousand tons of oil, while in 2011, production decreased to 28,574 thousand tons.

Norway faced an opposite situation in 2015. Last year, Nordland county only produced 3,645 thousand tons of oil – a considerable decrease, compared to the 4,294 thousand tons produced in 2014. This is the most dramatic decrease since 1995, when there was extracted 908 thousand tons. A record high volume was extracted from oil fields in Barents Norway in 2001 – 18,467 thousand tons of oil. 

Low oil prices hit Russian and Norwegian economies
According to preliminary figures from the Russian statistics service (Rosstat), the country’s economy fell by 3.7 percent in 2015. Also, retail sales shortened by ten percent and capital investment decreased by 8.4 percent, which became the worst figures since 2009. The economy has been significantly hit by an extraordinary collapse in oil prices, which fell by seventy percent over the past fifteen months, the BBC reports.

In Norway, the situation was similar last year. As the Norwegian statistics bureau informs, the country's economy shrank by 1.2 percent in the last quarter of 2015. Norway’s full-year growth in 2015 made one percent and was the lowest since 2009. This downturn in the economy was largely influenced by a poor performance in oil-based industries. For example, according to Statistics Norway, the oil, gas and shipping sector fell by 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to a growth of 7.8 percent in the previous quarter.

The Associated Press recently reported that Norway, like other oil and gas producers, was hit by low crude prices, causing thousands of job losses and industry closures.

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