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Northern Lights drilling unit construction completed
7 June 2011

Northern Lights drilling unit construction completed

RS has issued classification documents for semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Northern Lights, thus signifying completion of the construction to the RS class of two semi-submersible MODU (project 3091) for OOO “Gazflot”.

The project included construction of two semi-submersible MODU: Northern Lights and Polar Star. The units are designed for drilling up to 7500 m deep wells at sea depth up to 500 m. The semi-submersible MODU are capable to operate in the Arctic conditions in the broken ice up to 70 m thick.

RS performed survey at every stage of the construction which began in July, 2008. In December 2010, RS issued classification documents and international certificates to the prototype unit Polyarnaya Zvezda. The project of its sea towage from the South Korean shipyard to the port of Holmsk (island of Sakhalin) was developed and performed under the RS survey.

For the reason of accidents commercial offshore oil and gas production presents major risks to marine environment in the areas of drilling activities and along the ways of hydrocarbon transportation. The exploration, drilling and transportation of hydrocarbons may seriously damage the sensitive ecosystems of marine environment.

RS has accumulated vast experience in ensuring the safe operation of MODU. The RS surveyors took an active part in implementing the former USSR projects on oil and gas exploration and production in the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Sea of Azov, Baltic Sea, Barents Sea, as well as on the Sakhalin shelf. Since the 70-s, RS has been carrying out classification and survey of design, construction and operation of various MODU. Dozens of MODU built under the RS survey has been successfully operated on the continental shelf.

“Nowadays, RS applies the integrated approach to the enhancement of the safety standards and quality control during design, construction and operation of offshore oil and gas facilities. This makes it possible to render services as a package giving the customer advantages related to durability and costs of the services and to provide compliance with national and international safety requirements applied to offshore production”, notes the RS Director General Nikolay Reshetov.

Integrated services include classification of items, quality control at all stages of field development including design, construction, operation and recycling, industrial safety expertise of field facilities and survey of materials and products used during the field development. The integrated approach to safety system during offshore development is the priority of the RS activity on the continental shelf.



Established in 1913, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is one of the leading classification societies. Recognised by the European Union. Member of IACS. The RS activity is aimed at enhancing high standards of maritime safety and minimising the negative impact of human activities on the environment through scientifically based risk assessment and risk management procedures.

RS HEAD OFFICE: 8, Dvortsovaya Nab., 191186, St.Petersburg, RUSSIA. Tel: +7 (812) 3128878, Fax: +7 (812) 3141087, E-mail: pobox@rs-class.org