International cooperation
Russia and Norway to sign an agreement on seismic data collection in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

Russia and Norway to sign an agreement on seismic data collection in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has submitted a package of documents for signing an inter-governmental agreement with Norway on the procedure for seismic data collection in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, Minister Sergei Donskoi said at a working meeting with Maria Johanna (Marjan) Oudeman, a member of the Statoil ASA Board and the Compensation and Executive Development Committee.

The Russian Government is expected to decide soon on signing a Russian-Norwegian inter-governmental agreement on the procedure for seismic data collection up to and along the demarcation line on the continental shelf in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, the Ministry's website reports.

Russia and Norway have a mutual strategic interest in cooperating on the Barents Sea shelf in the so-called disputed zone, as well as possibly developing trans-border deposits, Donskoi said. Therefore it is necessary to draft the relevant regulatory and legal framework, he added.

Both countries play an important role in preserving and using the raw materials potential of the Barents region. Above all, this concerns geological prospecting and extraction of minerals on the continental shelf.

"According to our experts, the Russian continental shelf contains an estimated 100 billion metric tons of hydrocarbons in terms of fuel equivalent, and oil reserves total about ten billion metric tons," Donskoi noted.

The shelf has been studied inconsistently, and the correlation between studied and estimated resources makes it possible to predict the discovery of unique major deposits on the shelf, he stressed. Currently, authorities are trying to expand the scale of geological prospecting operations.

Oudeman recalled that Statoil has been operating in Russia for the past 26 years or so. Statoil perceives Russia as a strategic partner, and its corporate policy aims to strengthen its presence and to take part in new joint projects, she stressed.