Hostile Arctic climate and difficult geographical conditions have required the use of unique technologies to work in the Sakhalin oil and gas fields, located off the northeast coast of Sakhalin Island.
The supply vessels are designed for extreme environmental conditions in the Sakhalin area. In addition to meeting the year-round, multifarious re-supply needs of the platform, the specified range of capabilities that had to be encompassed by the supply vessels included firefighting, ice management in the sense of protecting the platform structure from ice, oil spill response, standby, rescue services, and towing.
The main duty of the vessels is to supply between land bases and the offshore drilling and production sites. The vessels are able to safely convey and transfer cargo on deck and bulk cargo underdeck in all seasons. The vessels will also be operating in thick drifting ice for ice management and icebreaking duties in temperatures as cold as minus 35 C°. The icebreaking capability of the vessels is extremely high, being able to proceed independently in 1.5 meter thick ice. The vessels are outfitted for emergency evacuation, rescue and fire fighting operations, oil spill response and platform overboard working and helicopter operations.
The first unit is the FESCO Sakhalin, purchased by Sovcomflot from Far Eastern Shipping Company in 2010 and renamed SCF Sakhalin.
SCF Vitus Bering and second-of-class SCF Aleksei Chirikov are upgraded versions of FESCO Sakhalin. While the main dimensions and hull form of the Vitus Bering type are nearly identical to the earlier vessel, the various modifications have included a covered foredeck, to better protect the mooring gear and the crew from the elements.