Monday, April 27, 2009

The Gateway to Arctic Exploration of Natural Resources: Submarine Tankers and Submarine Terminals

For the last month, I have been talking about submarine tankers and why has the idea been discarded by the United States. I had asked the question if Gazprom was looking to build submarine tankers.

In an article found here, the development of submarine tankers and submarine terminals are discussed.

Today, one of the main directions of the Arctic Region development is the exploitation of gas and oil deposits situated in the Arctic Ocean. It was in St.Petersburg that in 1992 scientific research institutions, designing bureaus and submarine construction plants, in cooperation with their partners from Moscow, Archangelsk, Severodvinsk, Murmansk and Nizhny Novgorod and with the participation of the RAO GASPROM, set up a Russian company for the shelf exploitation called ROSSHELF. It is to exploit hydrocarbon deposits situated on the Arctic shelf of Russia with the support of the national scientific and production potential in marine technologies.


Major hydrocarbon deposits on the Arctic shelf of Russia are situated in polar water areas covered with drifting ice. For the exploitation of these deposits it is necessary to work out entirely new and entirely under water and under ice technologies for projecting and exploiting the deposits, and for the oil and gas transportation. Such new technologies are being worked out on the basis of Russian technologies for submarine building and nuclear engineering by the Academician A.N. Krylov Central Scientific Research Institute, by the Lazurit Central Designing Bureau, by the Malachite Marine Engineering and by the Kurchatov Institute Russian Scientific Centre, in cooperation with institutions, specialized in oil and gas technological cycle.

The suggested scheme of the submarine technical complex for the exploitation of marine gas deposits includes the system for the submarine well water-flooding; the unit for the processing of the extracted product, for separating condensate and for preparing gas for transportation; a control and power unit for submarine extraction; a submarine condensate reservoir; a submarine terminal for trans-shipping the condensate to the submarine tanker; submarine tankers for condensate exportation and the system of submarine pipe-lines for the transfer of gas to the shore. As part of the submarine technical complex, the Nizhny Novgorod Lazurit Central Designing Bureau headed by N. Kvasha is designing submarine drillships and platforms for prospecting and for industrial drillings. Submarine tankers and submarine gas pumping stations are being worked out as part of the submarine complex. The necessary power supply for the submarine complex and for its technical means, under the conditions, may, obviously, be provided only by nuclear power units, which are being designed on the basis of the working nuclear power units of the Navy and of the nuclear ice-breakers.

In the process of exploitation of its Arctic shelf, Russia today is undertaking a break-through towards the XXI-st century technologies. That is in full measure true for the Rosshelf company, which is integrating into a comprehensive programme the exploitation of rich national resources and the utilization of a unique scientific and production potential of the marine technologies.

There is no doubt that Gazprom is looking at developing the idea.

Related Link:

Fuel-cell-propelled submarine-tanker-system study

A systems analysis of a commercial Arctic Ocean submarine tanker system to carry fossil energy to markets is presented. The submarine is to be propelled by a modular phosphoric acid fuel cell system. An electric utility type fuel cell will be fueled with methanol. Oxidant will be provided from a liquid oxygen tank carried onboard. The route will be under the polar icecap from a loading terminal located off Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to a transshipment facility postulated to be in a Norwegian fjord. The system throughput of the gas fed methanol cargo will be 450,000 barrels per day.

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