Norwegians mull continued supply to Russian offshore drillers

Norwegian companies have played a key part in several major operations in the Russian Arctic, among them in the exploration drilling at Dolginskoye in the Pechora Sea.

Ship supply services are not included in the sanction regime against Russia, Norwegian authorities conclude.


The Norwegian Shipowners´ Association says to its members that they are free to continue supply services to the Russian offshore oil industry. Also the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that the sanctions do not include supply ships, newspaper Kapital reports.

”The Ministry has concluded that paragraphs 17 and 18 [of the sanctions law] do not include supply ships”, a ministry representative says to the newspaper. Supply ships are not mentioned in the law, nor included in the banned categories ”floating facilities” or ”technical assistance”, the official adds.

With that clarification, Norwegian companies could set course for the Russian part of the Barents Sea, the Pechora Sea or the Kara Sea as soon as the sea ice melts next summer.

The role of the oil shipping and supply companies has been disputed following EU and US sanctions against the Russian oil industry and several major Norwegian-Russian contracts have been put on hold and even terminated.

As previously reported, Norwegian companies took an active part in this year’s major operations connected with drilling at University-1, the well connected with Rosneft and ExxonMobil joint projects in the Kara Sea. Norwegian supply companies also assisted in connection with Gazprom Neft’s recent drilling at the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea.

Norway joined the EU sanction line against Russia following the annexation of the Crimea and the sanction law prohibits direct or indirect services connected with oil exploration and production in deep waters, drilling, well testing, as well as delivery of ”floating facilities”.

Unlike other countries, however, Norway has allowed companies to complete contracts which were signed before the adoption of the sanctions. Much on that reason, Norwegian oil drilling major North Atlantic Drilling Ltd is requesting the authorities for permission to continue its comprehensive cooperation with Rosneft.