MinPrirody Suggests Freezing Licenses for Oil Production in the Arctic

The high-latitude regions of the Western Arctic and the whole of the Eastern Arctic may turn out to be unavailable for oil production within the next 10 years. Such a proposal was made by the RF Ministry of Natural Resources (MinPrirody) within the framework of preparing the program of the continental shelf exploration.

The moratorium for issuing the exploration and production licenses is to be valid until the preliminary exploration of these sites carried out by the state has been completed. It is expected to last till 2020-2021.

However if the exploration works follow the Norwegian pattern the Laptev Sea and the East-Siberian Sea as well as the most part of the Barentsev Sea will be closed until the full cycle of their water surface exploration for the oil companies is finished.

With the aim of ensuring that all the interested institutions have the time to submit their proposals, the consideration of the program draft by the presidium of the government shifted from November 14 to December 8. The Cabinet of Ministers is to shoes between the inertial and innovational variants of the Arctic exploration. Though regardless of its decision the amount which is to be spent by 2030 is staggering – about 6 trillion rubles.

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