Turkish ship deters movement of two Russian drilling rigs

An unidentified Turkish-flagged ship reportedly blocked the sailing route of a drilling rig of the Crimean oil and gas company, Chernomorneftegaz, thereby creating an emergency situation.

According to the company’s press statement from December 14, two jack-up rigs, B-312 and B-319, were being returned from the Odessa gas field, located in the north-west Shelf of the Black Sea, 150 km from the coast of Crimea.

Chernomorneftegaz didn’t say when the incident exactly occurred.

The company decided to move the rigs to Russian-controlled waters “due to a complicated international environment and risks of loss of assets vital for Chernomorneftegaz.”

The ship allegedly tried to stop in the course of the company’s B-312 drilling rig. Chernomorneftegaz said that the Turkish vessel was violating all international regulations and accepted norms of maritime navigation.

After the Turkish captain failed to respond to radio messages, a Russian Coast Guard gunboat and a Russian Black Sea Fleet corvette forced the ship to move.

The move of the second rig, the B-319, was also difficult due to severe weather conditions, but, according to Chernomorneftegaz the two rigs managed to arrive at their destination in the territorial waters of the Russian Federation where “their safety is assured”.

This latest incident was reported only a day after a Russian destroyer ship fired warning shots at a Turkish fishing vessel in the Aegean Sea.

Russia and Turkey have been at odds with each other since late November when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane citing a breach of Turkish airspace. This lead to Russia barring Turkish companies from doing business in Russia, and freezing major cooperation project, in particular, the Turkstream pipeline. Read more on that here: https://bit.ly/1T33PhD

 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

 

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