Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft is set to become the world’s largest buyer of helicopter transport.
According to reports from Russian financial newspaper Vedomosti, the company spend approximately $354 million on helicopter transportation this year, beating the record $284 million spent by Norwegian firm Statoil in 2016.
With helicopters providing the only means of transport for shift works to oil and gas structures, Rosneft will spend $178.7 million on helicopter transport services, and a further $177 million on similar services for subsidiary company RN-Aerokraft. The main carrier will be company UTair – Helicopter Services in a contract estimated to be worth $556.5 million.
Meanwhile, the RN-Aerokraft air fleet includes 16 medium-sized Leonardo helicopters, including 10 AW139, and 12 heavy Mi-8 helicopters. Overall, Rosneft’s helicopter fleet is currently valued at around $200 million, with an additional eight AW189 helicopters due by the end of 2017 and the option for a further 150 AW189 helicopters by 2025.