In Russia, the Varandey loading terminal has completed the first shipment of 10 million tonens of crude oil transported by the Arctic tankers owned by Sovcomflot.
The Varandeys fixed offshore ice-resistant loading berth (FOIRLB) is located 22km from the coast of the Barents Sea. Three ships are currently operating under the Varandey project.
Despite heavy ice conditions the tankers are able to operate without icebreakers support. In 2008, Lukoil reportedly completed the construction of the Varandey oil export terminal of annual capacity at 12 million tonnes of crude oil (240,000 bpd). In June 2008 the Varandey terminal began a year-round shipment of oil.
The petroleum products are delivered to the terminal via the Timan-Pechora oil province, primarily from South Hylchuyusk deposits, which began operation in summer in 2008.
The project allowed completion of a wide range of facilities including fixed offshore ice-resistant loading berths, the shore tank farm of capacity of 325,000 m2, two lines of the underwater pipeline, as well as oil metering centre, auxiliary tanks, pumping station, power supply facilities, a camp for workers and other infrastructural facilities.
The overall investments for the entire period of construction amounted to $1.1 billion (785 million), including $163 million for 2008.
Ice-class shuttle tankers of 70,000 tonne deadweight transport oil to a floating oil storage facilities located in unfreezing waters of Murmansk. Then 150,000 tonne tankers export oil cargo to Western Europe and the United States. In 2008, some 2 million tonnes of oil were transshipped via the terminal.