July 8, 2008

Gazprom Subsidiary Commences Construction of Shtokman Drilling Platforms

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has announced that the construction of semi-submersible drilling platforms slated for the Shtokman field development has begun at the Vyborg shipbuilding plant in Russia. Gazprom's vessel construction subsidiary, Gazflot, is undertaking the project.

The platforms are intended for operation in harsh natural and climatic environment, withstand low temperatures and waves up to 32m high. The platforms are capable of drilling performing exploration and production wells to up to 7,500m at water depths of 70m-500m.

The first drilling rig is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010, while the second rig is expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2011.

Yury Shamalov, director general of Gazflot, said: "Implementation of Gazprom's plans on further developing the Arctic shelf as a new oil and gas production province predetermines the company's demand for developing its own drilling and production platforms, technological fleet and vessels for LNG transportation. Meeting this challenge Gazprom will fully utilize the potential of Russian machine building enterprises."