MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - The impact of the newly-imposed US sanctions restricting the export to Russia of high-tech oil equipment needed in the Arctic, is not expected to be too dramatic, Russian analysts told RIA Novosti.
“The impact of these sanctions, especially if they are going to be lifted in a year or two, won’t be that big,” Sberbank CIB analyst Valery Nesterov said.
Nesterov explained that Russia’s plans in the Arctic include the production of 60 million tons of oil on the shelf by 2030. But the real contribution of the Arctic to Russia’s oil production is not expected until 10 years from now.
According to Nesterov, the US sanctions targeting Russia’s oil sector were predictable, as “on the Arctic shelf [Russia] is almost 100 percent dependent on imported technology and equipment.”
Grigory Birg, an oil analyst at the Russia’s independent research firm Investcafe, also said that without the imported technologies “it will be very hard for Russian companies to implement those high-scale ambitious projects that they contemplated.”
On the other hand, the sanctions may backfire at the Russia-based US oil giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron.
“For them [Russia] is not just a source of money but also a place to try out new oil production technologies, specifically in the Arctic. This is an opportunity to take part in the exploration of one of the humanity’s last resource bases. The Americans are extremely scared of losing this chance,” explained Valery Nesterov, adding that it's known that US oil companies have urged the US government to minimize its sanctions against Russia.
According to the analysts, it is yet unclear how the sanctions will be implemented, but Russian energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom will obviously be hit by them.
Due to the sanctions, the implementation of some of these companies’ projects may be delayed, but taking into account the scale of such projects, the delays are common practice even without any sanctions.
Another matter of concern are the sanctions intended at slowing down the development of hard-to-reach oil reserves, so far imposed on Russia by the European Union only.
“It seems that the United States and the European Union have an intention to unify their sanctions policies against Russia, so it is likely that the Americans will follow,” said Nesterov, adding that in the next five to10 years the production of hard-to-reach oil in Russia may amount to 20 million to 40 million tons.
The United States imposed new economic sanctions against Russia on July 29, prohibiting new contracts on exporting the equipment and technologies used for oil development on the Arctic shelf.
The European Union has also restricted the exports of equipment and technologies linked to deep water and Arctic oil exploration and production.
The EU sanctions are due to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union later on Thursday and will take effect on August 1.
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