Offshore Logistics (Olog) has scored its first success in the Russian oil-worker transport market after acquiring a controlling interest in operator Sakhalin Air Services (SAS).

Olog's UK subsidiary Bristow Helicopters has established a new company, Sakhalin Bristow Air Services (SBAS), to take a majority stake in SAS to supply fixed-wing and helicopter support services from Sakhalin island, in Russia's far east. Bristow says it is the company's first such step into the Russian oil and gas market, and could be followed by expansion.

The chief executive of Bristow Helicopters, Keith Chanter, says the move into Russia illustrates the company's commitment to developing oil and gas exploration areas. "We are delighted to have reached agreement with our Russian partners in the creation of the new company," he adds.

SBAS will operate a fleet of three Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft and four Mil Mi-8MTV helicopters for four-year contracts for ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell through consortia including Sakhalin Energy Investment. Sakhalin island is the centre of the Sakhalin shelf crude oil and gas exploration development in disputed seas around the Kuril Islands, north of the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Within Olog, Bristow Helicopters focuses on Australia, China, Nigeria and Trinidad, while Air Logistics International maintains a dominant presence in Central and South America.

Source: Flight International