Russia’s Sakhalin Energy has closed one LNG train at the Gazprom-operated Sakhalin-2 facility, “for planned maintenance due to challenges associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic”.

The Russian company said it will close one train at a time for both the platform and the processing facility. 

The maintenance, which will involve 1,500 workers, 700 external technical specialists and take just over a month, also includes the Lunskoye-A offshore platform, which produces the majority of the gas for the LNG plant, and the onshore processing facility booster station No. 2.

Ole Myklestad, Sakhalin Energy’s Production Director, said: “Due to current economic downturn and the pandemic challenge, we had to modify the initial turnaround scope. To ensure the safety of our people and reliable production, the company has decided to follow the original timeline, but shut down only one train at the LNG plant.”

Sakhalin said the decision was driven by a number of factors, such as epidemic prevention measures rolled out at its assets and maintaining its “virus-free status”.

These also include self-isolation requirements for the company’s personnel and limited ability to mobilise expatriates, as well as challenges associated with delivering materials and equipment from outside Russia.

Sakhalin said all of the personnel involved have undergone 14-day self-isolation in specially equipped corporate temporary accommodation facilities with being tested for coronavirus twice.

During the turnaround, Sakhalin will continue delivering crude oil and LNG cargoes to its customers, who are mainly located in Asia.

The Russian company expects to offload about 600 thousand tonnes of LNG and about 382 thousand tonnes of crude oil over this period, with 13 oil tankers and LNG carriers calling at the port of Prigorodnoye.

Equity holders in Sakhalin Energy include Gazprom, Shell, and Japan’s Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corp.

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15th June 2020