MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources has announced a $4.5 million tender for the assessment of the petroleum potential of the Russian continental shelf beyond 200 miles from shore, part of a claim for the expansion of the boundaries of the Russian Arctic shelf.
The aim of the project, published on the Russian government’s procurement portal, is to clarify the outer boundary and the overall territory of Russia’s extended continental shelf area in the Arctic Ocean and to update sections of the country’s representation in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).
The region’s boundaries include the Arctic Ocean, the Podvodnikov Basin, the Vilkitsky Strait, the Amundsen, the Nansen, and the Makarov Basins, the outer shelf of the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea.
Applications for participation in the tender will be accepted until June 17, the results of the contest will be announced June 20. The work must be completed before the end of 2015.
Since 2001, Russia has been laying claims to a hydrocarbon-rich region of the shelf, including the Lomonosov and Mendeleyev ridges, but the country’s initial claim to the zone was rejected due to a lack of sufficient evidence. If researchers can prove that these ridges are a continuation of Russia’s continental shelf, the country will obtain an exclusive right to develop the resources, which are estimated by the Ministry of Natural Resources at some five billion tons of conventional fuel.
It was earlier reported that the claim for extension of the boundaries of the Russian shelf in the Arctic will be fully prepared in the fall, and could be presented to the appropriate UN committee in the spring of 2015.