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Russian industry is capable, Gazprom says

Russian companies have successfully constructed the Prirazlomnaya platform, Gazprom underlines. Photo: Sevmash.ru

The gas company responds to BarentsObserver’s story about Russian industrial capacities on the Arctic shelf.

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Based on quotes from Aleksandr Mandel, head of subsidiary company Gazprom Dobycha Shelf, the BarentsObserver story argued that Russian energy companies depend on technology and equipment from foreign companies when developing offshore Arctic projects.

Speaking at a conference in Murmansk in mid-November, Mandel reportedly indicated that Russian industry remains insufficiently sophisticated with regard to offshore technology.

“Everyone seems to think that shelf projects can be developed quickly […] However, our industry is today practically not ready to take on the job”, BarentsObserver quoted Mandel as saying.

BarentsObserver was itself not present at the conference, but based its story on information from other news reports.

In a response to the story, Gazprom admits that there have been cases with delivery of low-quality parts to the “Prirazlomnaya” platform, the installation currently based in the Pechora Sea. However, these parts were quickly repared or replaced, Gazprom underlines.

The gas company stresses that Aleksandr Mandel in his conference speech did underline the need for cooperation between Russian and foreign companies within innovative technology not yet available in Russia. Domestic industry is especially not ready to produce equipment for underwater development of oil and gas fields, the company informs. 

However, there should be no doubt that domestic industry must be ready for large-scale projects on the Arctic shelf, Gazprom says. In this phase, local businesses will cooperate with leading Russian and foreign companies and develop production capacities for hi-tech offshore equipment, the company informs.

The Prirazlomaya platform, Russia’s first offshore Arctic production installation, is about 80 percent based on Russian-produced parts. As previously reported, the platform has been lying idle in the Pechora Sea for more than a year. Production is expected to start only in fall 2013.