PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY (Sputnik) — According to the deputy minister, the current fleet has another five years of life left at most.
In 2014, The United States and the European Union, as well as some of their allies, introduced anti-Russian sanctions amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, blaming Russia for interference. The sanctions included a ban on exporting deepwater drilling equipment to the country.
Exploring Russia's offshore geological deposits is a major untapped source of wealth, the deputy prime minister added, stressing that Russia is capable of producing its own ships for carrying out the research that has been designated as a key priority by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I am absolutely sure of this, I will certainly report to Vladimir Vladimirovich, I will tell our president that the safety factor is currently three years, five years at most. And we should have a vessel after these three to five years," Khloponin added.
The Arctic shelf is believed to hold enormous deposits of oil and natural gas. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the total value of energy resources concentrated in Russia's Arctic region exceeds $30 trillion. Ministry experts predict that in the future, Russian oil and gas production will be mainly concentrated on the Arctic sea shelves.