May 15 - Integrated shipping and marine services provider GAC Russia is upgrading its facilities at the port of Novorossiysk in Russia, underlining its commitment to offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction in the Black Sea.

The Black Sea is one of the areas in which the development of oilfields looks set to boom, as Russian oil majors have been granted licenses and joint ventures formed with international energy companies to develop blocks, said GAC Russia.

GAC Russia has already signed a deal with one of those key players to provide supply base support for its operations from Novorossiysk. During the pre-drilling phase of the project the GAC station will be used for the accumulation of materials and equipment in preparation for offshore operations. When drilling gets underway the base will perform round-the-clock operations including loading and offloading supply vessels supporting the offshore operations.

"We have what it takes to overcome the current limitations of Novorossiysk port to create a strong supply base to support upcoming operations in the Russian Black Sea", said Arkady Podkopaev, GAC Russia's managing director. "We are also well prepared to set up bases elsewhere in Russia in the near future."