(Russia) - Crowley Maritime Corp.'s Marine Services unit has deployed the CrowleyAlliance, the company's first Russian flagged and crewed vessel serving the offshore oil industry near Sakhalin Island, Russia.
The vessel is owned and operated by Crowley Far East Services, a Crowley subsidiary formed and incorporated in Sakhalin state, Russia.
The subsidiary, which is part of the corporation's marine services segment, offers marine and shore side logistics and transportation services to the energy and construction industries in the region.
In the fall of 2005, Crowley entered into a contract with Exxon Neftegas Ltd. (ENL) to provide an ice strengthened anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) for theOrlan, an 80,000- ton offshore production and drilling platform.
To provide this service on a long-term basis, ENL required the vessel to be flagged under the Russian Federation and crewed by Russian nationals.
Crowley towed theOrlan from its original location off Alaska's north slope to Sovetskaya Gavan, Russia in 2001; then from Sov Govan to Ulsan, Korea in 2004, and finally from Ulsan to offshore Sakhalin Island in the summer of 2005.
TheAlliance, which Crowley purchased from Maersk Supply Service, is a UT 708 design 12,000 BHP AHTS that is Lloyds Ice Class 1A Super.
The vessel has the hull strength and power to break first-year ice up to 1 m (39 inches) thick, and during the most severe part of the Sakhalin winters will follow an icebreaker to theOrlan location.
In addition, theAlliance can provide ocean towing, anchor handling, and general supply duties for ENL's offshore projects and will help extend itsr operating season due to its capability to contend with early winter and late spring ice.
Crowley took possession of the vessel in Egypt on Nov. 28, 2005.
To meet the demands of the fast-approaching winter in Sakhalin, ENL needed the vessel to be ready to work by Jan. 15, 2006.
The team had 32 days to mobilize the vessel over 7,000 mi, dry dock, change the flag state, hire and train a crew, and establish ISM-compliant operating procedures for the vessel and company.