Russian Off-Shore Drilling Platform Offline After Ukrainian Strike

Update (1116 EST): NASA has published their space borne fire detecting data from the last 24 hours which has picked up a large blaze in the Black Sea, possibly where the oil rig was targeted.

A Chornomornaftogaz Off-Shore drilling platform, specifically BK1, near Odessa, has been struck by Ukrainian surface-surface missiles at 0400 EST. Five have been confirmed killed and seven are missing after the single missile struck the target. This is the first engagement of off shore oil platforms since the February invasion.

The Self-Declared Republic of Crimea head Aksyonov told Russian state owned media that 109 workers were in the rig at the time and that a natural disaster was avoided by the crew. However, BK1 will be offline for a considerable amount of time while repairs are made.

Crimean Senator Kovitidi also had this to say: “We were able to save the field, prevent a technological catastrophe,” Kovitidi said, specifying that production at the field was suspended.

The senator also reported that one platform was damaged during the impact.

“Odessa gas field has been developed by Chernomorneftegaz since 2012. Additional wells were drilled in 2017 and 2018. Only three platforms: BK1, BK2, BK3. BK2, BK3 were not damaged, BK1 will be restored. Gas production at the Odessa field will continue,” Kovitidi said.

Chornomornaftogaz  is an oil and gas company located along Krymgazseti in Simferopol, Crimea. It is legally a subsidiary of Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz. However, after the 2014 Crimean crisis it was seized by the region’s parliament in the run-up to its annexation by Russia.

The company has licenses for 17 fields, including 11 gas fields, four oil fields and two gas condensate fields. It licenses for offshore fields include Odeske , Shtormove, Prykerchenske, Holitsynske, Arkhangelske, Bezimenne, Subbotinske, and Strilkove. In addition it owns licenses for Jankoy and Semenwckoye onshore fields. Its total reserves of all fields are estimated at 58.6 billion cubic metres (2.07×1012 cu ft) of natural gas, 1.231 million tons of natural-gas condensate, and 2.53 million tons of crude oil. In 2013, Chornomornaftogaz produced 1.651 billion cubic metres (58.3×109 cu ft) of natural gas. In 2012, it produced 1.174 billion cubic metres (41.5×109 cu ft) of natural gas, 62,800 tonnes of natural-gas condensate, and 8,900 tonnes of crude oil. The research group IHS reported that in 2013 Chornomorneftegaz accounted for 7.9% of Ukraine’s gas production and 2.4% of its oil production.

The company owns four jack-up rigs (Syvash, Tavrida, Petro Hodovanets, and Nezalezhnist) and eight fixed drilling platforms. Purchase of Petro Hodovanets (ex-West Juno) and Nezalezhnist was criticized due to corruption and money laundering allegations and higher purchase price that the market price. These rigs were nicknamed the “Boyko towers” after the former energy minister Yuriy Boyko. (Wiki)

This disruption is sure to further exacerbate the Russian Federations oil production crisis and force the Black Sea Fleet to allocate more resources to defend the remaining platforms.

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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