Murmansk Branch News

Pilots of the Murmansk Branch provide pilotage assistance for a floating rig in the Kola Bay

On August 9, 2021, the pilot service of the Murmansk Branch of FSUE "Rosmorport" successfully carried out a complex of pilotage operations related to the unloading and anchoring of the semi-submersible floating drilling rig Severnoye Siyanie (flag of Russia), which was delivered to the seaport of Murmansk on August 7 of this year on the board of the specialized dock vessel HLV GPO Ametist (flag of the Marshall Islands) of 225 meters length.

Pilots of the Murmansk Branch Dmitry Chernushkin and Vladimir Bezerko took part in the unloading of the drilling rig.

Unloading and towing a non-self-propelled object of such dimensions is a pilotage operation of the highest difficulty. The operation involved six port tug boats and one anchor handling tug, which required of the specialists of the enterprise complete professionalism regarding handling such a big number of vessels at the same time.

To unload the drilling rig, the dock vessel plunged to a draught of 25.8 meters before the drilling rig was lifted from the carrier's deck. Then the floating drilling rig was safely launched from the working deck of the dock vessel using port tugs and towed to the planned parking point in water area of the seaport of Murmansk. In the dedicated area, the drilling rig was positioned (held in place) using port tugs until it was fully shored on 4 anchor systems. In order to shore drilling rig at position, an anchor handling tug was involved.

Due to unforeseen circumstances and weather conditions during staging operations, the pilots of the Murmansk Branch had to place the first two anchor systems without the use of an anchor handling tug, using only port tug boats. Thanks to the experience of the pilots of the Murmansk Branch, the sudden-onset difficulties have been successfully overcome.

In preparation for the works, measuring works were carried out in advance on the drilling rig installation area in the seaport of Murmansk, as well as comprehensive engineering surveys of the bottom surface characteristics. During the implementation of these works, four sunken objects were discovered and identified, including those ones of the era of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. Using the data obtained, the pilots of the Murmansk Branch planned and carried out pilot operations on delivery and placement of the drilling rig in a given anchoring area along routes excluding the potential possibility of their impact on the towed object.

It is expected that semi-submersible floating drilling rig Severnoye Siyanie will stay in the seaport of Murmansk in order to carry out the necessary preparatory works on it until the end of August, and then it will be towed to the drilling site in the Kara Sea.