Murmansk still pins future to Arctic offshore oil

Crisis notwithstanding, Murmansk goes for the development of a major oil and gas service base in Roslyakovo. In 2012, oil platform "Prirazlomnaya" got a last fix in the town before entering production site in Pechora Sea.

The Russian offshore oil and gas industry is close to a collapse. But Murmansk still pushes forward with its grand plans for an Arctic petroleum base.


Irrespectively of the aggravating crisis in the industry, the Northwest Russian region appears as committed as before to become a new hub for Arctic drilling. In a meeting with high-level Rosneft representatives, Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun confirms her region’s current active elaboration of a comprehensive cooperation programme with the company. The key element in that program is the development of a major base facility for offshore operations.

As previously reported, that new base will be located in Roslyakovo, the town which until recently had status as a closed military territory controlled by the Northern Fleet.

The new base will have the capacity to anually serve operations connected with as many as 70 geological exploration wells, including service of production platforms, a press release from the Murmansk regional government reads.

According to Rosneft Vice President Vlada Rusakova, several foreign companies are involved in the project, among them the General Electric and Norwegian engineering enterprises. Among the Norwegian contributions will be a construction plant for concrete modules for oil platforms and LNG plants, Rusakova says.

The Rosneft takeover of the shipyard No 82 in Roslyakovo has stirred controversy among Russian Navy representatives. The yard has the biggest dry dock in northern Russia and is the only place where the Northern Fleet can conduct repair works on its biggest vessels. The yard has full order books for several years ahead.

In an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, more than 300 yard employees warn against the transformation of the facility from military yard to oil base. This will make it far harder for the Northern Fleet to conduct repair operations of its fleet, they argue. Shipyard No 82 has since it was established in 1947 been a military enterprise.