44 Offshore November 2013 • www.offshore-mag.com
Eurasia Drilling sees
With 3% to 4% of the world’s oil,
region poised for big projects
Offshore: Eurasia Drilling Co. Ltd. has an
interesting and unique origin. How did the
company get started?
Anderson: The company was originally
an in-house drilling business unit of Lukoil.
In fact, the roots of the company go back
to the 1950s, pre-Lukoil, to two companies
with separate drilling companies. It’s an old
company from that standpoint. In late 2004,
it was purchased by three Russians, including Dr. Alexander Djaparidze, who would
become the CEO of the company. The original idea was that they would clean it up, fx
it up, and then sell it. But it turned out to be
a pretty good business, and the timing was
great because the need for drilling in Russia has just exploded over the last 10 years.
So we have been an independent company
since December 2004.
Offshore: How did you get from onshore to
Anderson: There’s a lot of oil and gas in
the Caspian Sea. Most estimates say that
3% to 4% of all the oil in the world is in and
around the Caspian. It’s a big number. So,
it’s always been known that there would be
a demand. The question was, was there any-
body who could operate there safely from
both an environmental and people stand-
point, and actually get things drilled? There
was some question in people’s minds as to
whether the Russians could do that. And
people were waiting to see if we could. And
it turns out that we could, we can, and we do.
There was a seismic survey shot in Russian waters in the late ’90s, and there were
a lot of (prospects) that were pretty obvious.
So, Lukoil brought in the frst small jackup,
called the Astra, which we now own. And
they drilled eight wells and made eight new
feld discoveries. It was pretty obvious, then,
that there was a demand, and that the thing
would work. So, we’ve been drilling with our
two jackups up to now. And we have a third
jackup on contract starting up in October.
We bought our second jackup from Transocean in 2011. It’s called the Saturn. It just
completed its ffth year with us, without
a single lost-time incident (LTI), which is
good for a lot of reasons. It’s currently on
Eurasia Drilling Co. Ltd. (EDC) provides offshore drilling
services to Russian and international oil and gas companies in
the Russian, Kazakh, and Turkmen sectors of the Caspian. It is
also the largest provider of onshore drilling services in Russia,
offering onshore integrated well construction services and
The company entered the onshore drilling and workover services business in December 2004 by acquiring substantially all
of the onshore drilling and certain related assets of Lukoil. In
2006, it entered the offshore drilling business by acquiring the
offshore drilling business of Lukoil, which included the Astra, a
floating jackup drilling rig located in the Caspian Sea.
Recently, Richard Anderson, CFO and director of Eurasia
Drilling Co., met with the Offshore editorial team to discuss the
company’s latest activities. Anderson has been a director of EDC
since October 2011 and served as CFO since July 2008. He has
32 years of experience in oil and gas industry-related finance
and management. From May 2002 until March 2007, he was presi-
dent and CEO of Prime Natural Resource, Inc. Anderson is also
a certified public accountant, has a bachelor of science degree
in business from the University of Colorado, and a master’s in
taxation from the University of Denver.
In this wide-ranging interview, Anderson discusses the
outlook for oil and gas development in the Eurasian region, the
challenges of drilling in Caspian Sea, and what he says is the
next big offshore development region.
The EDC jackup Saturn, purchased
from Transocean in 2011, is currently
on a three-year contract with Petronas.
(Photos courtesy Eurasia Drilling Co. Ltd.)