Russian drillship returns to Arctic

Drilling vessel «Valentin Shashin» ,now Deep Venture. (Zarubezhneft)
Drilling vessel «Valentin Shashin» ,now Deep Venture. (Zarubezhneft)
State oil company Zarubezhneft considers to bring home the “Deep Venture” (“Valentin Shashin”).

The ship, which for the past 17 years has operated abroad is likely to take on drilling operations in the Arctic, newspaper Vedomosti reports. Currently, the ship is operating in Vietnamese waters.

According to the newspaper, “Deep Venture” is currently undergoing modernization which will make it better equipped for Arctic drilling.

Western sanctions are hitting hard on the Russian oil industry, which is in dire need for drilling equipment and technology suitable for Arctic operations. The “Deep Venture” would enable the companies Rosneft and Gazprom to follow up parts of their Arctic drilling obligations.

Russia has only six drillships and rigs, four of which are owned by Gazprom and two by Zarubezhneft.

The “Deep Venture” was built by the Finnish Pori Yard in 1982 and has been part of the fleet of the Murmansk-based Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka, a company which in 2011 was taken over by Zarubezhneft. Its original name was “Valentin Shashin”.

As previously reported, the drillship was  in 2005 leased by a Norwegian company. However, in 2011 a court concluded that the leasing contract had a far too low price andsentenced the Russian company manager to three years in jail. The ship was subsequently returned to the Russian company.

It was the “Valentin Shashin” which in 1988 discovered the “Shtokman” field.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Canada ponders exceptions to relief well rule for Arctic oil drilling, Alaska Dispatch

Finland: Finns still sharply divided over wind power, Yle News

Greenland: Arctic oil and gas must stay in ground to restrict warming to 2°C says study, Blog by Mia Bennett

Iceland:  From Arctic Circle 2013-2014, a big drop in the price of oil, Blog by Mia Bennett

Norway: Oil, Industry and Arctic Sustainability, Deutsche Welle’s Ice-Blogger

Russia:  Who will ship Yamal LNG?, Barents Observer

Sweden: Lower electricity bills for Swedes, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska House leaders take shot at Washington state over Arctic, Alaska Dispatch News

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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