SOGAZ. Providing a steady rise

Since the times of Peter the Great the Russian Navy and Fleet had always been the background of the country economical, political and military power. The decline in the economic activity of Russia in 1990-s led to a serious underrun of the ship-building industry and ageing of our fleet. The navy construction and modernization programs were frozen for a long period, which led to the decrease of the navy combat readiness and to a number of fatal accidents and wrecks. Today, when we have reached a steady or even rapid economic rise, it becomes clear that our further development is constrained by the level of the ship-building and the navy development.

At the end of last year the President and the Government have paid serious attention to the state of our navy. Such interest has increased partly owing to the fact that the Oil & Gas development programs of the Arctic Shelf resources became highly important for the economics and the political influence of our country, and those programs can be successful only in case of the effectively working ship-building industry.

It is unacceptable to admit foreigners to exploit of strategic resources of our country. Meanwhile, one should understand that at present such country as Russia can increase its potential only owing to integration into the global economics, takes a worthy position in its leading industries, and applies the most advanced technologies, including IT and finances. The insurance is not insignificant in this process. In fact, the insurance is the sphere of activity, which must provide a steady economical growth. How is the insurance cover of the Russian Sea Oil & Gas Projects arranged?

Since the very inception of the Joint-Stock Company of Gazprom this task has been constantly solved by the SOGAZ Insurance Group, which is a leader on the insurance market of Russia having a good reputation on the international market of the marine insurance. The Insurance Group acquires a large portfolio of sea risks, fulfills the insurance and reinsurance of vessels for different purposes and of different types during the period of their construction, operation and repair. The obligatory reinsurance contract, concluded with the leading world reinsurance companies, enables SOGAZ to insure both Russian and foreign high cost vessels independently. The Group collaborates with the leading re-insurers well known over the globe, which have an impeccable reputation, such as Munich Re, Lloyds of London, Swiss Re, General Cologne Re, Odyssey America Re, SCOP and others. The rules authorized by SOGAZ provide a full package of current marine insurance products and are well adjusted to the terms, agreements and disclaimers used by the top foreign insurance companies.

SOGAZ insurance portfolio features a large number of special purpose vessels among its sea insurance objects, the operation of which is connected with high risks: research and exploration ships, drilling rigs, icebreakers, oil tankers, gas carriers, towboats, fire vessels etc. For example, SOGAZ covers the insurance of all sea vessels and floating crafts of Gazflot LLC, which fulfills the Program of the Russian Shelf Development launched by Gazprom. Gazflot provides works both on the shelfes of the Arctic Seas of Russia, and abroad (the shelf of Nigeria, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea etc.). Gazflot consists of research ships, drilling rigs, crane vessels, floating drilling facilities, self-elevating floating drilling rigs, and other specialized floating technical equipment. The operation of such vessels is often connected with the risk to pollute the water area, where the works are held, for example, the risk of an oil spill. The operation of those vessels is impossible without a corresponding insurance cover, which is provided at the up-to-date international level. Being a full member of the Russian P&I Pool, as well as the member of the Union of Russian Ship Owners (SOROSS), the SOGAZ Group offers the ship owners a wide range of insurance services, which make a reliable protection from different risks.

The highly developed system of service provided by the Insurance Group enables to combine high quality services and quick payment of the insurance indemnity. When considering the insured accident SOGAZ is ready to nominate independent surveyors all over the globe, and provide the customer with the necessary assistance on-line. SOGAZ can also provide guarantee in case of a salvage of the vessel in any water area of the world. Having an in-depth experience of collaboration with the leading Russian and foreign banks, SOGAZ helps the ship owners and ship builders to obtain loans for their business on security of the vessels and other property.

SOGAZ often takes part in large scale strategic projects, which are highly important both for the economics and security of the country. Among the most remarkable marine projects, which were insured by SOGAZ, it is necessary to mention the recent high-latitude expedition ‘The Arctic Region 2007’, arranged to define the exact borders of the Arctic Self on the vast territory from the Northern borders of our country to the peak of the planet. If it turns out that the hypothesis of our scientists that the Russian Continental Shelf continues to triangle Chukotka-Murmansk-the North Pole is true, Russia can obtain the rights for the development of really giant oil and gas deposits. This research, highly important for our country, was fulfilled by the research and expedition vessel called Academician Fedorov, the flagship of the Russian Polar Fleet, which belongs to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. St. Petersburg Branch of the Insurance Group has been providing the insurance cover of Academician Fedorov for more than 10 years. The long-term experience of insurance covering the research vessels, ice ships and special water crafts enables SOGAZ to find the best approach to the evaluation of risks, which can arise during the work in the extreme conditions of the Far North, and to do its best to provide the insurance cover of the Arctic Projects.

Among the vessels, sea and ship-building projects, which have been insured by SOGAZ, we shall mention the following:

  • Insurance cover of 12 ships of Estonian company United Marine Management Ltd.;
  • Insurance cover of the vessels, which belong to the Administration and General Services of the President of the Russian Federation;
  • Insurance cover of the vessels, which belong to Gazflot, Donhechflot, Kuban Inland Navigation Company, Sakhalin Ocean Company etc.;
  • In August 2005 SOGAZ reimbursed the damage, incurred by Italian Company Bacolistsas Group as a result of the damage of their steamship Beltrade. The insurance indemnity exceeded $225 thousand;
  • In October 2002 SOGAZ together with Neftepolis insurance company provided the insurance cover of Hatton TLP oil platform being towed from Norway to Murmansk for more than $90 million; now the platform is used for the construction of an ice-resistant stationary platform for the development of Prirazlomnoye Oil Deposit;
  • Insurance of the series of vessels built at the joint Russian and Norwegian venture called Kwerner-Byborg-Verf;
  • During several years SOGAZ provided the insurance of Murmanskaya self-elevating platform, which belongs to Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka;
  • For more than 8 years SOGAZ has insured the research vessels of Geo Arctic and Bavenite, which belong to JSC AMIGE. The specially designed equipment of Bavenite enables to fulfill the exploratory boring at the depth of 200 m with the water depth up to 1500m.

SOGAZ is ready to take upon itself the core managing function when fulfilling international projects of any scale and complexity, and guarantee the safeguarding of the country interests. Among SOGAZ international projects we shall note the following in particular:

We shared the insurance cover within the International Program of Floating Space Craft Launch Complex Sea Start with the largest Western syndicates of Boeing and Kwerner, Ukrainian companies State Design Office Juzhnoye and Juzhmashzavod, Russian rocket-and-space corporation Energia and the Kanonersky Shipyard. The Kanonersky Shipyard insured the risk of the asset loss and damage during the works at assembly commanding vessel Sea Launch Commander with $10 million limit of liability in St. Petersburg Subsidiary of SOGAZ.

We shared the insurance of Construction All Risks when constructing the submarine part ofGoluboj Potok (Blue Stream) Pipeline with our Western partner Padana Asikuracioni, and insured the property and liability of Blue Stream Pipeline Company B.V. upon the Gas Transport Project from Russia to Turkey along the bottom of the Black Sea.

When commenting the international activity of SOGAZ, the Group Chairman of the Board Vadim Yanov said, ‘SOGAZ strategy is to enter the international market. Recently we have started to pay more attention to cross-border operations. It is connected with the fact that our first string customer Gazprom and other Energy companies take part in large-scale international projects and expansion programs for the energy products delivery to Western Europe and Asia-Pacific Region. For example, those projects include the construction of Yamal-Europe and Goluboj Potok (Blue Stream) gas pipelines, where SOGAZ, being the insurer of the pipeline on the territory of Russia and in the sea, have strongly used its business relations in the international insurance community; the project of Alexandrupolis-Komotini pipeline in Greece or gas deposits development projects on the shelves of Vietnam and India. The most cutting edge technologies are used for Sakhalin I Project, where we provide the insurance cover of Prirazlomnaya Ice Resistant Platform Project. The long-term experience of SOGAZ Insurance Group shows that it is necessary to choose a general insurer for the projects of such scale, complexity and importance. Besides, the insurance company will start its job beginning from the first project life cycle – at the stage of conception - and follow it to its logical end’.

Such responsible and statesmanlike approach to its activity, diligent care about the welfare and security of its homeland, desire to do its best to create the necessary conditions for its economical rise, gives the opportunity to SOGAZ to grow steadily, and expand its authority both in Russia and on the international insurance market. It shall be proved by the fact that the company constantly wins top positions in the Russian Insurance Rating, and confirms A++ Highest Reliability Rating awarded in 2003 by Expert RA Rating Agency every year.

SOGAZ Insurance Group

Phone: +7 800 333 0 888

Go to Index of # 3(21) 2007


# 3(21), 2007
Ocean and shelf exploration