Russia’s Arctic Oil Reserves Estimated at 7.3bn Tons

Oil reserves of the Russian Arctic zone amounted to 7.3 billion tons, while the region’s natural gas reserves stand at about 55 trillion cubic meters, Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin said on Wednesday, according to TASS.

“Oil reserves of the Russian Arctic zone are estimated at 7.3 billion tonnes, condensate is at around 2.7 billion tons, natural gas – about 55 trillion cubic meters. The Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous region has the greatest potential. It accounts for about 43.5% of the initial total resources of the Arctic zone,” he said.

It was noted that about 41% of the region’s oil and gas resources are located on the Arctic shelf.

The Minister believes that the Arctic region should be considered a strategic reserve of the country.

“I am convinced that the development of the Arctic region is a project for decades, if not centuries ahead. All this time it will affect welfare of the whole country. I still think that the Arctic shelf should be considered a strategic reserve for the development of the mineral resource base and hydrocarbon production in Russia,” Kobylkin said.

It is reported that as of October 2019, 140 licenses are operating on the Russian shelf.

According to the law, only state-controlled companies (in which the state owns at least 50%) with at least five years of experience working on the shelf, can apply for the development of the subsoil of the Russian shelf of the Arctic. Since 2016, a moratorium has been in place to issue new licenses for offshore fields, and now only Gazprom and Rosneft are allowed to the shelf.

Russia’s deputy prime minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev earlier estimated the Arctic shelf resources at 17 billion tons of liquid hydrocarbons and 85 trillion cubic meters of gas. At the same time, the degree of geological exploration of the Arctic in general, and shelf in particular, remains extremely low, he emphasized.