The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have attacked Russian drilling platforms, Sergey Aksyonov, the head of the Crimea wrote in his Telegram channel.
"This morning, the enemy attacked drilling platforms of Chornomorneftegaz. I am in touch with colleagues from the Ministry of Defense and the FSB, we are working to save people," Aksyonov said.
According to the head of Crimea, three people were hurt as a result of the attack. Several workers went missing, the search for them continues. Patrol ships and aircraft are involved in the rescue operation.
Ukraine attacked the oil rigs in the area near Odessa, TASS news agency said.
In March 2014, the Crimean authorities nationalized the property of the Ukrainian state-owned oil and gas companies Chernomorneftegaz and Ukrtransgaz to establish republican enterprises on the basis of their assets. The head of the Supreme Council of the Republic, Vladimir Konstantinov, then stated that the Crimean authorities took oil and gas fields in the Black and Azov Seas, as well as oil and gas rigs of Chernomorneftegaz under protection.
In mid-December 2015, Chernomorneftegaz moved two drilling rigs — B-312 Pyotr Godovanets and B-319 Ukraina — from the Ukrainian Odessa gas field to the territorial waters of Russia. The rigs were moved not to let Ukraine arrest the platforms. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry then said that Russia committed another act of "large-scale robbery of property and natural resources" of Ukraine.
State unitary enterprise Chernomorneftegaz produces, distributes and sells gas in the Crimea. Chernomornetegaz exploits hydrocarbon deposits on the shelf of the Black Sea and in the waters of the Sea of Azov, as well as on the land territory of the republic. The company's drilling platforms are located near the Snake Island in the Black Sea.
In 2020, the company produced about 1 billion cubic meters of gas. In 2014, after Russia reunited with the Crimea, the company's output increased to 2 billion cubic meters.