Gazprom chief executive Aleksey Miller

Gazprom announced a new Arctic crude blend called ARCO.

It is sourced from the Arctic field in North-West Russia.

The oil will cost less than the main Russian export Urals blend and will have lower quality, RT reported.

The new ARCO blend debuted on the world market Friday.

The first consignment of 70,000 tons will make its way to one of the largest European energy companies, Gazprom said in a statement, without disclosing the customer. After increasing the production volume from the Prirazlomnoye field, part of the crude will be sold on the basis of long-term contracts, RT said.

“The first shipment also marked the start of the process to return investment in the Prirazlomnoye deposit,” Gazprom chief executive Aleksey Miller said.

The quality of ARCO — for Arctic oil — is below that of Russia’s key Urals export blend.

The Prirazlomnoye field was discovered in 1989.

It is located in the Pechora Sea, south of Novaya Zemlya, Russia,  60 kilometers offshore.

The field holds 72 million tons of recoverable oil, RT said.

Production started six months ago and is expected to reach 6 million tons a year sometime after 2020.

The development of the field is based on the single stationary Prirazlomnoye platform, which is the first Arctic-class ice-resistant oil platform in the world, RT said.

In September, two Greenpeace activists with climbing gear scaled the side of Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya platform.

Russia then arrested 29 activists and seized the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise ship in the Barents Sea.

The crew and ship were later released.


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