This story is telling:
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has blamed the Sevmash shipyard in the north of the country for delays in commissioning the drilling and production platform for the Prirazlomnoye oilfield in the Barents Sea.
Speaking this week at a Russian Offshore conference in Moscow, head of Gazprom’s offshore department Vladimir Vovk claimed Sevmash simply does not have “enough skilled workers” to complete the assignment.
What was that? Not enough skilled workers? For a major Gazprom contract?
What was I saying five weeks ago?
The proportion of ordinary Russian men who fail to make the grade on an oil and gas project either through alcohol consumption, failure to turn up to work, or lack of self-motivation is shockingly high for a country looking to develop rapidly.
[O]ne of the enormous challenges facing Gazprom and Rosneft is how they will staff their projects, especially as they have made it increasingly difficult to bring foreigners to work in Russia.
Having convinced themselves that Russia does not need much by way of an expatriate labour force to realise their oil and gas development plans, Gazprom seems to have stumbled at the first proper hurdle placed in front of them. If Gazprom’s Russian engineering contractors are struggling to complete a relatively simple topside refurbishment job because of a lack of skilled workers, it doesn’t bode well for their ability to deliver several multi-billion dollar mega-projects simultaneously.