News from Ukraine: Russia sets up offshore drilling rigs in Ukraine Black Sea waters (video)

15:25 Jul. 25, 2016

Russia sets up offshore drilling rigs in Ukraine Black Sea waters (video)

The rig Tavrida, belonging to Ukraine's Chornomornaftogaz, in the Black Sea, 2002 (UNIAN Photo)

Russia continues to explore natural resources in Ukraine's marine economic zone

Ukrainian border guards spotted Russia's gas drilling rigs in Ukraine's marine economic zone in the Black Sea.

This was reported by the State Border Service on July 25.

"While air-monitoring the water surface, Ukrainian border guard officers spotted jack-up rigs, stationary platforms and support vessels under Russia's national flag in the Odesa and Holitsyno gas fields (located in Ukraine's exclusive maritime economic zone)", border guards stated.

"The presence of support ships under Russia's flag within oil or gas fields may prove that Russia continues to illegally explore natural resources as well as operate facilities and buildings for commercial purposes without the permission of Ukraine's competent authorities", the State Border Guard officers added.

Read also Ukraine wins back tank farm from Russian-occupied authorities in Crimea

This is not the first time the State Border Service reports on Russia violating international maritime laws and sovereign rights of Ukraine as that of a coastal state for exploring and developing natural resources in its territorial sea and continental shelf. 

On July 16-17, the jack-up-rig 'Sivash' was towed off the port Chornomorske (the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea) to the Holitsyno gas field, which is located in Ukraine's exclusive (maritime) economic zone.

Read also Russia illegally explores natural resources in Ukraine's marine economic zone

Ukraine's State Border Service reported, it is the jack-up-rig (belonging to Ukraine's company Chornomornaftogaz) that was illegally seized by Russia during its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

While observing the gas field, Ukrainian border guards spotted armed people near the drilling rigs and platforms. The State Border Service informed Ukrainian relative ministries and agencies on the incident.

Chornomornaftogaz is part of Naftogaz Ukraine and specializes in exploring and producing oil and gas in the Black and Azov Seas. In 2014, drilling rigs and other property of Chornomornaftogaz were seized during the Russian annexation of the Crimea. As a result, Naftogaz Ukraine has lost control of its Crimean enterprises.

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