The Timan-Pechora basin in Russia’s Arctic northwest offers vast oil and gas resources, as well as challenges for those looking to tap them. Weather conditions in this region are better suited for wildlife, like polar bears and wolves, than people. The temperature can drop to as low as minus 47 degrees F (minus 44 degrees Celsius), sea ice builds to over five-feet (170 cm) thick, and waves in the nearby Barents Sea will top 16 feet (nearly five meters) during a storm.
LUKOIL Group, one of Russia’s largest oil and gas companies, wanted to increase exports from Timan-Pechora to Western Europe and North America. To accomplish this, the company expanded its Varandey facility – the world’s northernmost continuously operating oil terminal – to a capacity of 325,000 cubic meters and added two 25-kilometer underwater pipelines, as well as an ice-resistant fixed offshore terminal for offloading of oil from its shore-based tanker field to reinforced tanker ships for transport abroad.
It’s Never Been Done Before. When LUKOIL decided to expand its Varandey oil terminal, it knew that automation was key to enabling consistent and safe year-round operations in a harsh environment where it had never been attempted before. The company turned to Emerson for rugged and reliable automation solutions for the Varandey terminal, which today moves 12 million metric tons of commercial crude oil annually.
Automation of the plant is achieved via Emerson’s PlantWeb™ architecture, including the DeltaV™ digital automation system. The Emerson solution enables control of terminal operations at every stage, from receipt of oil at the onshore tank farm to pumping through the underwater pipelines to the offshore terminal.