Russia, Italy Developing Drillship for the Arctic

Russia and Italy have made an agreement to jointly develop a harsh-environment drillship.

During the Italy-Russia Business Forum,  held yesterday in Trieste, Fincantieri announced, in the presence of Enrico Letta, Italy’s President of the Council of Ministers, and Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, the signing of an agreement to define plans for a drillship featuring frontline innovation and technology.

Fincantieri will work together with the Krylov State Research Centre, one of the world’s most prestigious naval research centres, on a project to develop a drill ship able to operate in particularly difficult conditions, in full respect of the environment and crew safety. This highly advanced vessel will be able to navigate in ice up to 1.5 metres thick and ambient temperatures of -40°C and will have a 4-month operational autonomy.

In order to explore types of cooperation in different areas of shipbuilding, in July this year Fincantieri and the Krylov Centre signed a framework agreement spanning several sectors, including the offshore one.

Fincantieri explained that the agreement is of great importance for two reasons. Firstly, because the steady retreat of arctic sea ice will allow access over the medium to long term to vast hydrocarbon reserves, of great interest to the major international oil companies. In fact, in the absence of appropriate technology, low temperatures and the presence of ice have been the major obstacles up until now to accessing these resources.

The Italian shipbuilder also highlighted another aspect, which opens up very important opportunities for Fincantieri in response to ever-growing demand from the oil & gas market (involving the extraction and production of oil and natural gas): in fact, by 2030 Russia plans to buy dozens of vessels like those covered by the agreement, with unit values possibly in excess of USD 1 billion.

November 27, 2013

 

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