The Russian government plans to hold 11 tenders for development of 32 perspective zones in the Barents, the Pechora and the Ohotsk Seas by the year 2010. Industrial resources of these seas are more than six billion of reference fuel. "I am not sure in the necessity of the tender process", said Yury Trutnev – a Minister of Natural Resources. According to Trutnev, tender process can reduce possible risks, but also eliminate participation of Russian companies in such projects, RusEnergy reported. "Possibilities of Russian companies are much lower for such volume of work. We think we should use foreign experience, and domestic companies should gain this experience", he said.
"Nowadays the volume of oil extraction on the continental shelf is very low. It is about 0.2% of the total Russian oil extraction", – said the Russian Minister. The reason is sufficient hydrocarbon resources on continental part of the country. Extraction of mineral resources on the Shelf is a more complicated task than on the continental part of the country. Extraction of marine resources in hydrocarbons on the Russian shelf has specific features, which directly influence the investment attractiveness and competitiveness of the Russian fields.
The main part of the Russian oil and gas resources is located on the Arctic Seas shelf, characterized by rough climatic and extreme ice conditions. There is almost no seashore infrastructure and developed transport system. On the other hand, there are high environmental requirements to oil and gas fields development in the open sea, as any accident can seriously affect a vast ecosystem.
"All the above mentioned features lead to huge investments for the fields development on the shelf. There is a need for special and extreme expensive technologies for oil extraction deep in the sea with difficult climatic conditions. Russia did not pay much attention to work on its Shelf yet", the minister said.
The Russian Continental Shelf has the largest territory in the world. Its territory is larger than 6.2 million square kilometres; four million of them are oil and gas perspective.
The first extracted resources of the Russian Shelf exceed 100 billion tons of reference fuel. According to the geological researches, amount of liquid hydrocarbons of the approved part of the Shelf is about the same as in the other parts of Russia. This means that the Russian Shelf is as oil and gas perspective, as well developed and operative parts of the continental shelf. But resources of marine fields (40 billion tons) are approximately four times higher than continental resources (9.1 million tons).
The Shtockman field development on the Barents Sea shelf is to be started straight after the Gasprom makes a decision about its foreign partners, who will work on the field development. The list of the partners is expected to be announced on the 16th of September, 2005.
The Ministry of the Natural resources also announced its plans to continuo geological research of the seas. Russia plans to invest more than 22 billion rubles in this project during the next 15 years.