Norwegians Win Russian Arctic Contracts

October 25, 2013

Norwegian expertise in offshore oil and gas is increasingly conquering the Russian offshore petroleum market, Barents Observer reported on October 25. Reportedly, equipment provided by Norwegian companies accounts for as much as 25 percent of all technology onboard the platform “Prirazlomnaya”. According to newspaper Teknik Ukeblad, Norwegian technology and engineering companies have contributed with a major number of minor deliveries to the installation.  In addition, both the two icebreaking supply ships for the project are designed and built in Norway

As previously reported, the “Prirazlomnaya” was in August 2011 towed from Murmansk and has since for technical reasons been lying idle in the Pechora Sea.  The platform, Russia’s first production unit in Arctic waters, is expected to start pumping oil in 2014. The upside of the “Prirazlomnaya” originates from the Hutton, a platform which in the 1980s operated in the North Sea.

According to Håkon Skretting, leader of Intsok, an organization promoting Norwegian oil and gas companies abroad, the Norwegian industry has long worked actively with licenseholder Gazprom Neft to get project contracts.

Also in the Kara Sea, Norwegian companies are playing key roles. Four companies, among them the Siem Offshore and the Viking Supply Ships, are reported to be winners in a tender on services connected with Rosneft`s first drilling operations in the Kara Sea. Rosneft has three major licenses in the region, all of them to be developed together with ExxonMobil. The first drillhole at the Universitetskaya, a field belonging to one the three licenses, is due to be conducted in 2014.

Meanwhile, it is the semisubmersible rig “West Alpha”, an installation owned by Seadrill and based in the Norwegian town of Stavanger, which is to conduct the drilling, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports.

Russian operations in the Arctic also have local implications for northern Norway. The Henriksen Shipping, a ship agent in the town of Kirkenes, is providing services to many of the seismic vessels now operating in Russian Arctic waters and the local ... is supplying Gazprom with … to projects in the Yamal Peninsula.

Commenting on the developments to TU.no, Intsok leader Skretting says that “Russia can be a difficult market to operate in, however for the technology providers it is often without any major risks”.

Copyright: Barents Observer, 2013