Behind every successful oil and gas project is a precise supply chain with critical transport and logistics timelines that are pivotal to starting, increasing or resuming production. With its large, advanced and versatile fleet, Volga-Dnepr Group has earned a reputation for excellence, letting nothing stand in the way of on-time delivery.
For 25 years, Volga-Dnepr Group has been answering the oil and gas industry's call for predictable transport and logistics solutions, finding the best outcome for each customer, whether they are working to timescales of days, weeks, months or even years.
At the heart of its business is its unique aircraft fleet that includes 12 of the world's largest series-produced ramp-loading freighters - the Antonov An-124 - alongside modern IL-76TD-90VD ramp aircraft, and Boeing 747 and 737Fs. Volga-Dnepr combines this aircraft capability with end-to-end multimodal logistics and project management expertise, and engineering solutions to ensure deadlines are always met, even for the most complex one-off shipments or long-term projects.
Since the start of its business, the group has moved in excess of four million tons of cargo on board more than 90,000 flights to 1,200 airports in 190 countries for customers in a multitude of industries. Working for many of the world's leading oil and gas corporations, it has performed nearly 1,500 flights, delivered more than 94,000t of essential cargo and, today, the industry accounts for over 13% of its total business.
Upstream shipments regularly include drilling equipment, pumps, power houses, blowout preventers and 'Christmas trees', while midstream cargo largely consists of tube bundles, pipeline values, vents and pipe layers. Downstream, the group moves compressors, heat exchangers, stabilisers and control units.
The nature of Volga-Dnepr's business means it is often called upon to organise an urgent delivery of a replacement part when equipment breaks down and production grinds to a halt. Flights, even to the world's most remote regions, have to be completed as quickly as possible, and draw on all of the group's transport and logistics expertise. Alongside its speed of response, Volga-Dnepr has also earned a global reputation for finding solutions to the most complex logistics tasks, such as moving a 70t stripping tower from California, US, to Erbil, Iraq, to refine 40,000 barrels of oil a day. On paper, it was 2m longer than the cargo hold of the group's An-124's aircraft, and the tower could not be cut or altered in any way, but an engineering solution was still able to be designed and implemented, resulting in another on-time delivery.
Then there are the major projects, such as those completed for British Petroleum in Colombia, and ExxonMobil in Chad and, most recently, Papua New Guinea. For the latter LNG project, Volga-Dnepr began its involvement five years ahead of its first flight, and this included acting as one of the consultants for the new Komo Airport in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea to make it possible to deliver critical cargo shipments virtually to the door of the ExxonMobil gas production and processing facilities. With the new airport open, Volga-Dnepr's ability to manage the delivery of 6,000t of cargo on board 88 An-124 flights over the space of 103 days was one of the contributing factors that ensured the project was able to commence production ahead of schedule.
Fayçal Boumerkhoufa, global director, oil and gas projects at Volga-Dnepr, says the group has earned the confidence of its customers in the sector by consistently delivering as promised.
"Most of all, our customers value the predictability of the services we provide, whether this is in relation to urgent deliveries of replacement parts and equipment, or meeting a long-term delivery schedule to support a major oil and gas project," says Boumerkhoufa. "They trust us to always create the best solution, even for their most complex loads or to the remotest regions, and know we will never let them down.
"Our advice to any customer is to talk to us at the earliest possible stage of their planning. This ensures they gain the maximum benefit of our knowledge and expertise, and will ensure there are no delays or unexpected costs when it comes to physically moving their cargo.