FSB trains counter-terrorism at Arctic oil installation

The FSB's border forces are ready to take on unwanted persons in the Arctic, including environmental activists.

Security service agents from Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nenets conduct a major joint exercise at one of the country’s main Arctic oil installations.


The exercise, reportedly the first ever of its kind in the Arctic, included more than 500 participants. Also the Ministry of Emergency Situations, regular police forces and representatives of the Northern Fleet attended, reports.

A centerpiece in the training was the Varandey oil terminal, the strategic oil installation owned by Lukoil on the Pechora Sea coast. The training scenario included the elimination of terrorists who had taken hostages and occupied administrative buildings and the terminal facility.

Varandey is Lukoil’s key infrastructure object in the oil-rich Nenets Autonomous Okrug. It is located by the Arctic sea coast north-east  of the regional capital of Naryan-Mar.

The FSB has powerful units in the Russian north. When Greenpeace in 2012 boarded the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea, it was FSB units which used force against the activists.

Last week’s drills took place just few days ahead of the arrival to the region of the GSP Saturn drilling rig, an installation which over the next two years will conduct exploration drilling in the Pechora Sea. As previously reported by BarentsObserver, environmental activists have conducted a campaign also against the GSP Saturn. When moored in the Dutch port of IJmujden in late May, Greenpeace activists boarded the rig in a protest against the upcoming Pechora drilling.