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RF will apply for expansion of Arctic shelf in spring 2015

  • Published in Economy
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Field investigations for an updated application to the UN for expansion of the Russian part of the Arctic shelf have completed.Russia will submit the application for expansion of the boundaries of the Arctic shelf in the spring of 2015.Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy said about it at the meeting on board scientific research vessel "Akademik Fedorov" in St. Petersburg.

Russia aspires to join 1.2 million sq m km area of the shelf in the Arctic Ocean.Answering the question of TASS Sergey Donskoy said this would increase the potential hydrocarbon reserves by 5 billion tons of standard fuel."But this is the minimum assessment, I am sure that the figure will be larger," - said the Minister.

"For us, for the ministry, this day was long awaited because it was preceded by a lot of work.We will submit an application for our shelf, our Arctic borders to the UN in the spring of next year,"- he said.

According to him, "the expedition has made the whole scope of work, even more than planned.We now have all the necessary ground to prepare an application and introduce it to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for consideration.We have full amount of scientific data to work with best geologists of the Arctic countries, which are part of the Commission”.

Extension of the continent

The scientific expedition on board the vessel "Akademik Fedorov" to determine the outer limits of the continental shelf began July 10.Scientific expedition included employees of “Marine Arctic Geological Expedition”.

In the framework of a state contract with the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use were carried out comprehensive studies to establish the geological and geophysical basis for the assessment of petroleum potential of the continental shelf beyond the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation in the Arctic Ocean.The area of study was 350 thousand sq km. The research results will supplement the initial application of Russia submitted to the United Nations in 2001.

So that the UN in the face of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf can recognize the right of Russia to these areas, it is necessary to scientifically prove that they are shelf, that is an extension of the continental crust, connected by general geological structure. “I believe that it is our shelf. All the experts say that we have a very good application. Acceptance of our application by the Commission is virtually acceptance of our geological model by other geological services professionals of the Arctic countries,"- said Donskoy.

Advantages of extension

Changing boundaries in the Arctic will increase the area of the country in the Arctic Ocean by 1.2 million sq km.On this territory there are reserves of natural resources in the amount of 5 billion tons of equivalent fuel, said Donskoy.

“Approval of Russia will consolidate the Russian sovereign rights over an additional area of 1.2 million sq km in the Arctic Ocean. This will also increment the prediction for the hydrocarbon resources of 5 billion tons of equivalent fuel,”- commented Donskoy.

According to him, this application to the UN "is the application for our future, for our sustainable development in the Arctic region”.

As reported, above the Arctic Circle there are approximately 60 large oil fields, 43 of them - in the Russian sector.The total recoverable resources of the Russian Arctic are estimated at 106 billion tons of oil equivalent, gas reserves - at 69.5 trillion cubic meters.

Source: ИТАР-ТАСС (ITAR-TASS)