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Moscow eyes Lukoil for Arctic projects

23rd November 2012

Moscow is considering Russian oil company Lukoil’s USD 2.7bn bid to tap the country’s Arctic shelf

Moscow eyes Lukoil for Arctic projects
Beneath the energy rich Arctic lie as much as 400 billion barrels of oil and gas, geologists say, enough to meet the world’s energy demands for the next 125 years

The Kremlin will consider a USD 2.7bn proposal from Russia’s second largest oil company to develop fields on the country's Arctic shelf, deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Kommersant daily in an interview published Thursday.

If accepted, the proposal will allow Lukoil to rank Rosneft and Gazprom as the only companies allowed to own offshore licenses under current legislation. Other companies are only permitted to enter projects as partners. Lukoil and other non-state companies have petitioned the government for access to offshore deposits.

"The numbers correspond to the government's vision," Kommersant quoted Mr. Dvorkovich as saying regarding Lukoil’s USD 2.7bn bid. He said no decision had been taken on allowing non-state companies to own offshore licenses, but that the matter would be discussed at a government meeting.

Russia is also mulling over the possibility of allowing foreign companies to develop its Arctic shelf, as these could provide important expertise and offshore technologies.

Beneath the energy rich Arctic lie as much as 400 billion barrels of oil and gas, geologists say, enough to meet the world’s energy demands for the next 125 years. The region is of top priority for Russia. Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak told delegates at the Gastech 2012 conference that the country will need USD 500bn to develop its Arctic shelf by 2050.