The PA-A (Molikpaq) platform is Russia’s first offshore oil and gas producing platform. The platform is located 16 km offshore the north-eastern coast of Sakhalin Island, in the Astokh area of the Piltun-Astokhskoye field.
The Molikpaq platform, whose name means “Big Wave” in the language of the Inuits, was originally used as an ice-resistant drilling rig in the Beaufort Sea offshore Canada. In 1998, it was towed to South Korea, where a 15-metre steel 'spacer' was fitted to its base structure to install the platform in the deeper waters offshore Sakhalin Island. To ensure the platform's stability, the foundation was filled with 350,000 tonnes of sand as ballast.
Commercial production of hydrocarbons from PA-A was launched in 1999, and for 9 years the platform, together with a single anchor leg mooring buoy and the Okha floating storage and offloading double-hull vessel, was part of the Vityaz production complex. Under such conditions, it was possible to produce hydrocarbons during the ice-free period only, i.e., approximately six months a year. The Vityaz operations included drilling, production, and offloading of oil, as well as associated support and exploration activities.
In 2008, during Phase 2 of the Sakhalin-2 project, the platform was upgraded for the first time to install additional modules, including the power generation module, which allowed for the transition to year-round production from the PA-A platform. As a result, the platform was equipped with all the necessary facilities to bring the oil and associated petroleum gas to saleable condition.
The PA-A platform’s daily design capacity is 12.2 Kt (90 Kbbl) of oil and 2.04 MMcm of associated gas.
Processed oil and associated petroleum gas are delivered through pipelines to the Onshore Processing Facility for further transportation to the Prigorodnoye Oil Export Terminal located in the south of the island.