Russia may create Arctic oil and gas field reserve

Russia would form a reserve of oil and gas fields in its Arctic zone under a proposal contained in the Strategy for Development of Russia's Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security to 2020 published on the government website on Wednesday.

The fund would help guarantee the nation's energy security and ensure the steady development of the fuel and energy complex over the long term. It will help compensate for declining production in traditional production areas after 2020.

The strategy paper also calls for drawing up projects for the comprehensive study of the shelf and coastal territory and for preparing the oil and gas reserves there for development, in order to substantially increase the subsurface resource reserves at Arctic fields.

Development of the Arctic shelf will be accompanied by major infrastructure projects to integrate the Arctic zone into the nation's economic life. The oil and gas projects in Timan-Pechora, on the shelf in the Barents, Pechora and Kara seas and on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas need to have developed infrastructure.

Development of the Arctic shelf will also see development of a science-intensive maritime services complex, including geological exploration and creation of fiber-optic and satellite systems for communications and monitoring, mobile communications and wireless internet access, and systems for ensuring meteorological and environmental safety.

The government also proposes major investment projects to develop chromium, manganese, tin, alumina, titanium and zinc deposits on Arctic Ocean islands, the Kola peninsula and the mountain ranges in polar Urals and vein gold deposits in Russia's eastern Arctic zone. These projects will require state-of-the-art technologies and services.

The development projects must also include construction of capacity for processing subsurface resources operating on modern, highly efficient equipment, the document says.

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