Natural resources
Sergei Donskoi
© Yulia Maklakova

Sergei Donskoi: 91% of hydrocarbon shelf resources and 53% of onshore resources remain untapped

The untapped hydrocarbon potential of the Arctic amounts to 91 percent on the shelf and 53 percent on shore, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi said at the Arctic Days in Moscow forum.

"Over 300, or more precisely 346 onshore oil and gas deposits have been explored in the Russian Arctic regions, whereas the figure for the explored offshore Arctic deposits is only 19. According to experts, 91 percent of hydrocarbon resources are lying untapped on the Arctic shelf and 53 percent on shore," the minister said.

Donskoi said that major oil and gas exploration projects had been completed in the Arctic in the past few years, yet geological knowledge of the Arctic shelf remains inadequate and lopsided.

"The southern parts of the Barents and Kara seas have been explored quite thoroughly, while their northern parts and the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi seas in the east Arctic remain underexplored. Not a single deep well has been drilled in the latter three seas," the minister said.

He pointed out that the Arctic has entered a new era of industrial development that is directly connected to mining. Therefore, one of the country's current priorities, that is, the effective use and further development of the mineral and raw materials potential of the Arctic regions, involves implementing large investment projects in order to satisfy Russia's domestic and export requirements. Other strategic priorities include the improvement and extension of the transport infrastructure in the Arctic shelf and shore development areas.