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    Russia Actively Developing Arctic Projects - Minister

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    Russian Arctic shelf is still one of the key priorities for Russian Federation, a report authored by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi stated Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Oil reserves under categories ABC1+C2 in the Russian Arctic shelf amount to 585 million metric tonnes this year, a report authored by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi stated Monday.

    "As of January 1, recoverable category ABC1+C2 oil reserves in the Arctic shelf amount to 585 million tonnes, category ABC1+C2 free gas reserves total 10.489 billion cubic meters," the report prepared for the Arctic Days in Moscow forum reads.

    Moreover, current strategic priorities for Russia's exploration of the Arctic region include developing transport infrastructure and mineral potential, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi also added.

    "The strategic priority is mastering the development of transport infrastructure in the regions of the Arctic shelf and its coast exploration," Donskoi said during the Federal Arctic Forum "Arctic Days in Moscow."

    He added that one of the main tasks for Russia was developing mineral potential of the Arctic region.

    With about a third of its territory located north of the Arctic circle, Russia is an active member of the research and development projects in the region and a member of the Arctic Council along with the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

    The geological exploration in the Arctic region remains uneven, with unexplored hydrocarbon potential standing at 91 percent on the shelf and 53 percent onshore, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said Monday.

    "Geological exploration coverage of the Arctic shelf remains mostly low and uneven… Unexplored hydrocarbon potential of the Arctic region stands at 91 percent on the shelf and 53 percent onshore," Donskoi said.

    Southern areas of the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea have been studied relatively well, while north areas of the aforementioned seas and eastern Arctic seas, such as the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea have not been explored properly, according to the minister.

    However, in recent years, the geological study of the Arctic region has significantly increased, Donskoi added.

    With about a third of its territory located north of the Arctic circle, Russia is an active member of the research and development projects in the region and a member of the Arctic Council along with the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

    Concerning businesses in Russia related to Arctic region, they are actively working on projects launched by the Russian government in the Arctic region in spite of the difficulties with the state budget, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said Monday.

    "Those projects that have been started, they are being actively developed now. The fact that we, government officials, are stating that there are fewer possibilities with the budget to carry out major projects in the Arctic, it is objectively the truth. But businesses are continuing these projects," Donskoi told reporters on the sidelines of the Arctic Days in Moscow forum.

    The Russian government has been looking for opportunities to help Russian companies, such as LUKoil and Rosneft, not financially but with the removal of administrative barriers and concentrating efforts on building infrastructure in the Arctic region, which will enable to kick-start numerous other new projects there, Donskoi added.

    Unlike Russia, the United States excluded plans for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic region starting 2017 due to high exploration costs and low projected oil prices, the US Interior Department stated on Friday.

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    Tags:
    oil, potential, hydrocarbon, Arctic shelf, reserves, Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Sergei Donskoi, Russia, Arctic
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