Russian oil projects in the Arctic: legal divisions are needed (The Voice of Russia)

From: The Voice of Russia

The Director of the Shelf Laboratory of the Russian State Oil and Gas University, Doctor of Engineering, Professor VassilyBogoyavlensky spoke with the Voice of Russia and elaborated on the areas that Russia should focus on while developing the Arctic shelf.

According to Professor Bogoyavlensky comprehensive international laws governing the Arctic are non-existent as of today but documents to that end are in fact being developed. In Russia, the Arctic is governed by laws implemented nationally and any special programs that Russia has outlined for the period up to the year 2020 and beyond. The Arctic is also regulated by the national legislation of all other Arctic states.

When we talk about deposits we mean the proven reserves that have been discovered and will be extracted as production gains momentum. Professor Bogoyavlensky says that claims have already been made on the deposits, to varying degrees since the greater part of them have been reserved by different companies, namely those such as Gazprom and Rosneft.

Professor Bogoyavlensky also commented on the priorities of Russia’s shelf and Arctic policy in the foreseeable future. According to the Professor, there is the Federal Government’s policies and the policies of different companies and operators that hold license blocks in different water areas. For example, oil and gas has been produced on the Sakhalin shelf in keeping with the Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II development projects.

The companies operating there are Exxon, Neftegaz and Sakhalin Energy. Gazprom owns the controlling stake in one of the projects and is actively engaged in developing oil-and-gas production on the Sakhalin shelf.

The Arctic Ocean shelf is one of the most bitterly disputed areas in the world today. The sub-polar region includes the seacoast of five countries, namely Russia, Norway, Denmark, Greenland Iceland, Canada and the United States.

Hydrocarbons are prospected for and even produced in some places of the shelf, even if to varying degrees and at different levels of development, but activity in the Arctic is not being carried out by only a limited number of sub-polar countries. There are also a number of East Asian nations, including Malaysia and Thailand, which is why it is important to work out and adopt, at an early date, an international agreement on a fair division of the Arctic shelf.

The views expressed here were those of the Director of the Shelf Laboratory of the Russian State Oil and Gas University, Professor Vassily Bogoyavlenksy who spoke to the Voice of Russia on prospects for the development of the Arctic.

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