Kolskaya Oil Rig Sinks in Sea of Okhotsk – Буровая Платформа Кольская Затонула


 The Kolskaya floating jack-up drill (Буровая платформа Кольская) was being towed by the Neftgas-55 tugboat, along with the icebreaker ‘Magadan’ from the eastern Peninsula of Kamchatka to the city of Kholmsk of the eastern peninsula of Sakhalin Island (Sea of Okhotsk).  En route, the oil rig overturned and sank with 67 people onboard.

There were 14 reported survivors with minor injuries.  49 were reported missing.

It is assumed that the accident occurred due to towing under unsafe conditions.  During a storm, for example, an oil rig is much less stable than would be a ship, and one can easily overturn.


Environmentally, there is little concern due to the fact that any oil onboard would have been enclosed within hermetically sealed containers.

Economically, the blow would unlikely have any sizeable impact upon the oil market.  If anything, standards in oil exploration will become stricture, as this will become a chief statistic in representing the dangers of wild waters.

This could, however, lend credibility to the environmental NGOs that currently attempt to derail offshore hydrocarbon projects amongst the Barents and Kara Seas (read about Shtokman).  The concerns among NGOs  have to do with the readiness and ability of The Russian Federation and it’s players to attend to and mend any major offshore related incidents.  The speed and success of today’s rescue efforts in the Sea of Okhotsk will lend evidence to either side.

Short Rig History

In August of 2011, the Kolskaya floating jack-up drill rig was delivered from Murmansk to the Magadan Commercial Sea Port to conduct testing on the Pervoocherednaya (Первоочередная) well, situated within the West-Kamchatka licences block of the Okhotsk Sea shelf.  The Kolskaya rig is currently owned by the Russian Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka (Арктикморнефтегазразведка).  It had been operating under a 3.5 month contract for the Gazprom subsidiary, Gazflot.  Following the Pervoocherednaya project, the rig was to be commissioned for a project by the joint Russian-Vietnamese venture “Вьетсовпетро”.

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