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Business news, 31.03.2006 11:49

Russia to build 4 tankers for Sakhalin II operator

sakhalin Russia is expected to build four vessels to deliver oil and gas under the Sakhalin II energy project being implemented on Russia's Far Eastern island, the project operator said Thursday.

The shipyard based in St. Petersburg, Russia's second biggest city, will build two ice-breaking tankers, and a shipbuilding plant in Primorye Territory in the Far East two more vessels under a 15-year contract between Sakhalin Energy and a Russian-operating affiliate of A.P. Moller-Maersk group, which runs about 1,000 vessels and drilling platforms across the world.

Sakhalin Energy, a Dutch-British-Japanese venture that is developing two vast fields with estimated recoverable reserves of 150 million metric tons of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of gas on Sakhalin, is expected to receive six vessels from the group in 2007. They will operate under the Russian flag and cost some $140 million overall.

Sakhalin Energy, which is also building an oil terminal and a liquefied gas plant, the first one in Russia, will use the four vessels to deliver oil and liquefied gas to foreign consumers from the southern Aniva Bay.

The vessels' overall towing capacity is at least 70 metric tons. They will be fitted out with equipment to contain oil spills and fire-fighting devices. Each vessel will be operated by six-member Russian crews.

Sakhalin Energy, owned by Royal Dutch/Shell (55%) and Japan's Mitsui (25%) and Mitsubishi (20%), is working in Russia under a production sharing agreement that gives the company major tax breaks in exchange for a certain share of the output.

The project, which is being implemented in difficult climatic conditions, has been complicated by environmental obstacles and repeated spending delays on the part of the Russian authorities.

News source: en.rian.ru

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