Sakhalin-2 is a project of many firsts: the offshore oil platform Molikpaq was the first to be installed on the Russian shelf; the Lunskoye-A (LUN-A) and Piltun-Astokhkoye-B (PA-B) platforms are also the first of their type to be installed on the shelf; and the LNG plant is the first in Russia.
Sakhalin-2 supplies about 4% of the world’s current liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Japan, South Korea and China are the main customers for oil and LNG exports.
Virtually all the gas from Sakhalin-2 has now been sold under long-term contracts to customers in the Asia-Pacific region and North America. There is potential to expand the project through the Area of Mutual Interest signed with Gazprom in April 2007, which provides opportunities for growth, including the purchase of third-party gas by Sakhalin Energy and the potential acquisition of exploration blocks in the area. It enhances the prospects for Sakhalin-2 to become a regional oil and LNG hub.
Sakhalin-2 is technically challenging. It is equivalent in size to five world-scale projects, located in a hostile subarctic environment, and covers a vast area in a region with almost no existing infrastructure. There are also environmental, ecological and social sensitivities to be tackled. The float-over installation of the topsides for the PA-B platform set a world record at some 28,000 tonnes. The previous record was held by the Lunskoye-A platform at 22,000 tonnes.
Two 800-kilometre pipelines, which bring oil and gas from the fields in the north of the island to the ice-free export terminal in the south, traverse mountainous terrain in an earthquake zone and cross more than 1,000 watercourses, many of which are ecologically sensitive.
Environment and society
The Sakhalin-2 project has set new standards in social and environmental performance and transparency in Russia. In 2005 the project accepted the recommendations of the Independent Scientific Review Panel (set up under the International Union for Conservation of Nature) and re-routed the offshore pipelines to avoid whale-feeding areas. In 2006, in cooperation with IUCN, the Western Gray Whales Advisory Panel was established to provide advice to minimise risks from oil and gas developments in whale habitats.
The project has also brought substantial benefits to local communities through social investment, which covers safety, education, healthcare, arts and culture, infrastructure development, indigenous minorities, biodiversity and environmental protection.
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