Russian drillship explores the ground along US border

The Bavenit has sailed to the Chukchi Sea and started exploration drilling just few kilometres from the maritime border to the USA.

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - July 27, 2023
The Bavenit in 2019 made port call in the Norwegian town of Kirkenes. Photo: Atle Staalesen

The ship that has Murmansk as its home port is engaged in studies of the eastern part of the Chukchi Sea on behalf of Russian state oil company Rosneft.

The purpose of the operations is to obtain drill cores from remote and unexplored parts of the east Arctic continental shelf, Rosneft informs.

The “Bavenit” does exploration drilling in the Chukchi Sea.

The drilling takes place in Rosneft’s Severo-Vrangelskoye, a license area located immediately adjacent to US waters.

Over the past several years, Rosneft has undertaken exploration of its many remote Arctic license areas in the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea.

The Bavenit has “unique innovative Russian-made equipment for geo-physical exploration of wells in complicated geological and climate conditions of the North,” Rosneft informs.

The ship that is originally built in Helsinki in 1986 recently  underwent a major upgrade that allows it to engage in the northernmost parts of the Russian Arctic shelf. It is operated by the Murmansk-based AMIGE, a subsidiary unit of state mineral exploration company Rosgeo. In 2020, the ship was involved in drilling in the northern parts of the Kara Sea and in 2021 it drilled a total of five wells at Gazprom’s license areas in the Barents Sea and Kara Sea.

The Bavenit is one of several Russian ships that over the last years have engaged in mapping of hydrocarbons in the far northern Russian waters.

Located in Kirkenes, Norway, just a few kilometres from the borders to Russia and Finland, the Barents Observer is dedicated to cross-border journalism in Scandinavia, Russia and the wider Arctic.

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