Russia: Sovcomflot Successful in Exxon Neftegas Supply Vessel Tender

On 16 December 2010 in Moscow, the Sovcomflot (SCF) Group of companies and Exxon Neftegas Limited (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil) signed long-term agreements for two icebreaking supply vessels to service the oil platform at the Sakhalin-1 Project Arkutun-Dagi offshore oil field.
The official signing ceremony, which took place in Moscow’s Kremlin, was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, the Chairman of the Sovcomflot Board of Directors Sergey Naryshkin, the President of ExxonMobil Development Company Neil Duffin, senior managers of OAO Sovcomflot, Exxon Neftegaz Limited, OAO United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), STX Finland and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy.

The agreements were preceded by a tender, announced by Exxon Neftegaz Limited in December 2009. The terms of the signed agreements stipulate a long-term charter for a minimum of 10 years for two, enhanced ice class supply vessels of 4000 deadweight tonnes each, which will commence operations off Sakhalin Island in June 2013. Both vessels will be registered in Russia and will fly the Russian flag.

These vessels will represent the next generation of multifunctional icebreaking supply vessels. They have been designed to provide for delivery of supplies, emergency response, icebreaking, towing and escorting ships at the Arkutun-Dagi platform.

The icebreaking supply vessels are designed to meet all the rules, standards and requirements of international conventions, national and regional rules, including the requirements of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. The vessels will have a specially designed stern to navigate in ice and a propulsion system with two steering units and dynamic positioning capability, which allows the vessels to maintain a steady position at the platform. The vessels are capable of operating during winter seasons, breaking ice of up to 1.7 meters thick. Their diesel-electric propulsion plants, which consist of four main engines, will provide total power of 18 mega watts.

Relevant contracts for the construction of these supply vessels have been signed between SCF Group and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy, a joint venture between OAO United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) and STX Finland.

SCF Senior Executive Vice-President Evgeny Ambrosov said: “The expansion of SCF Group in the market segment for servicing offshore energy projects is in line with the Group’s Development Strategy for 2010-15, which envisages the development of national offshore operator. This includes the servicing of offshore projects and offshore oil and gas production facilities, first and foremost in the harsh climatic and heavy ice conditions of Russia’s Arctic and Far East. There is no doubting our pleasure in winning this tender, and it is particularly pleasing when we are talking about the development of cooperation with such a customer as Exxon. We have already gained some good experience of mutual cooperation within the Sakhalin-1 Project, both in the seaborne transportation of oil by shuttle tankers, and in providing services for the oil platform by the icebreaking supply vessel SCF Sakhalin. We also welcome Russian shipbuilders’ involvement in the construction of icebreaking supply vessels. They will gain the required experience in the design and construction of similar vessels, for future projects servicing the Russian Arctic offshore oil and gas fields.”

SCF Vice-President Igor Pankov noted: “During the work on this project we relied on the experience and knowledge accumulated while operating our ships (shuttle tankers and ice-breaking supply vessels) for Sakhalin projects. We anticipate that the innovative technologies employed during the building of these new ice-breaking supply vessels will be in demand, in particular for constructing the fleet servicing Yamal oil and gas projects.”

Exxon Neftegas Limited is a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, an American oil and gas corporation. ENL is the operator of Sakhalin-1 Consortium which is involved in exploration and production of oil and gas on Sakhalin Island (Russia) and offshore, in Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi fields located in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy is a joint-venture company, which is 50/50 owned by STX Finland and United Shipbuilding Corporation (Russia). The company, employing approximately 400 persons, will focus on arctic maritime technology and shipbuilding and will unify Russian and Finnish Maritime clusters.

Sovcomflot (SCF) Group is one of Russia’s largest infrastructure enterprises. Its fleet comprises 147 vessels of about 11 million tonnes (dwt) in total; its current shipbuilding portfolio includes 16 ships representing an aggregate of 1.5 million tonnes (dwt):

• The average age of vessel in the tanker fleet is about seven years (the world average age is 12 years)

• The company owns the largest ice-class fleet, being No.1 in the Arctic shuttle tanker and ice-class LNG tanker market segments

• SCF Group is a world leader in the product carrier segment; it is the second largest in the Aframax tanker segment

• The Group’s services include not only transporting hydrocarbons for its customers, but also trans-shipping crude oil via FSO facilities, terminal management and developing effective logistics for transporting energy, providing supply vessels services to drilling rigs and offshore platforms and fleet technical management

• Operating supply vessels servicing drilling platforms is an important segment of the business, which SCF Group commenced in 2009. The Group’s supply vessels are servicing oil drilling platforms operated for the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects

• SCF Group was presented with the prestigious Seatrade Global Performer 2010’s award, in recognition of its pioneering work with Arctic seaborne cargo transportation, and won the 2010 Lloyd’s List Award for Company of the Year.

Source:  Sovcomflot, December 20, 2010;

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