The Kolskaya drilling jackup was constructed by Rauma-Repola in Pori, Finland in 1985 and was owned by AMNGR, a subsidiary of Zarubezhneft, a Russian state-controlled oil firm primarily based in Moscow.
In August 2011 the Kolskaya had sailed from Murmansk to Magadan, a port situated on the shores of the Okhotsk Sea, within the Russian Far East.
In June 2009 the Russian Federation authorities awarded Gazprom a subsurface license for the Zapadno-Kamchatsky block within the Sea of Okhotsk. A seismic survey was carried out within the space between 2009 and 2010 and a drilling marketing campaign was determined.
Gazprom subsidiary Gazflot commissioned Murmansk-based drilling firm Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka, or AMNGR, to drill at about 200 kilometers off the coast of Sakhalin. Following set up of ancillary gear and a facility programs readiness take a look at within the port of Magadan, the jackup was towed into the Sea of Okhotsk and drilling commenced.
Citing a witness the Moscow Times reported, “The growing older Kolskaya was plagued with issues earlier than it even arrived.”
Large cracks had been recognized on the bow of the vessel however non permanent restore was accepted with a everlasting restore to be made inside a 12 months.
As the drilling program was being accomplished on Dec. 11, the towing ship Neftegaz 55, joined by the icebreaker Magadan arrived on web site to maneuver the platform and its 67 crew members. The plan was to maneuver the Kolskaya to the port of Kholmsk situated on the southwest coast of the Sakhalin Island. The jackup needed to be ready for a brand new drilling program off the coast of Vung Tau in Vietnam.
As mid-December was approaching it rapidly appeared that the towing operation was going to be carried out with large-scale security violations.
According to the license issued by the Russian Federation Naval Registry, the platform couldn’t be towed in winter situations. A particular allow was wanted for that and it had by no means been obtained. Towing operation Captain Mikhail Tersin suggested that the 917 miles tow throughout the Okhotsk Sea in tough winter situations was “merely not possible”. Survivor Alexander Kovalenko, who was the Kolskaya OIM, mentioned he had argued that nobody ought to have been on the platform because it was being towed. However solely the operator’s employees had been moved onto the icebreaker Magadan earlier than the operation began.
On December 11, the Kolskaya started to be towed with a crew of 67 on board. According to the Moscow Times the Captain Tersin requested his administration in Murmansk to take a safer route alongside the Kuril Islands to cover from a coming storm, however was instructed to observe the shorter route. When the storm started getting extreme on December 16 with wind exceeding 50 knots, the platform began to roll sooner and started shaking, survivors mentioned. On Dec. 17, the Magadan’s tow rope broke.
On the night time of Dec. 18, the bow of the Kolskaya platform started to tackle water. Water additionally flooded by portholes and into the galley, knocking out partitions between the cabins. The OIM yelled on the telephone together with his administration in Murmansk; “We are going to drown with the platform and can all die!” At 9:24 a.m. that morning, the SOS sign was given. The platform crew was reassured that helicopters had been on the way in which. I used to be reported that the primary choppers weren’t dispatched for practically four half of hours following a squabble over who would pay for the operation. The time for horror started. According to survivors, those that waited on the platform for helicopters, all died. The icebreaker Murmansk was in poor health outfitted for all times saving. Part of the crew saved by the Neftegaz “Chillingly watched as their fellow crewmen floundered within the water after which received sucked below the hull of the Magadan.” At 12;45 pm the Kolskaya sank withing one hour in three,300 ft of water, 200 miles off the coast of Sakhalin. 14 crewmembers survived, 17 had been discovered lifeless and 36 had been lacking.
On December 26, native folks noticed a life raft from the Kolskaya on the…

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