Drilling For Oil Amid Arctic Ice
In 2014 Russia became the world’s first producer of Arctic Oil or ARCO. The Prirazlomnaya platform on the Russian Shelf above the Arctic Circle, operates round the clock to extract the oil. The “Kirill Lavrov” is one of two giant tankers that ferry the black gold to land. The platform is constantly expanding, putting down new bore holes. Once extracted the oil must be carefully analysed to ensure the quality is consistent. So scientists aboard the platform never stop, from their own laboratory on the rig, they make sure the oil always meets the highest standards. Everything that happens out here is scrutinised and practiced to perfection.
The man-made island has 2 search and rescue teams who practice regularly emergency drills to keep the crew safe and to respond swiftly in the unthinkable event of an oil spill. They take safety seriously, both personal and ecological, the engineers take great pride in the fact that not a drop of oil has been spilt since the rig came into operation.
The Prirazlomnaya’s numbers around 200 people who work day and night in extremely harsh conditions. The shift patterns mean that they spend every other month away from their families. It certainly takes strength of character to do this job. RT Doc visits the rig to meet the people of Russia’s first Arctic oil platform, including the only woman aboard, to find out more about the process of producing ARCO safely.