Sergei Donskoi
© RIA Novosti. Mihail Mokrushin

Donskoi: UN Commission to review Russia’s application for expanding its continental shelf within 3-5 years

The United Nations Commission will review Russia's application for the expansion of its continental shelf within three to five years, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi told RIA Novosti.

"It usually takes about two years to review an application. This allows applicants to prepare the necessary documents and to even carry out additional studies, if needed. Considering the scale of Russia's application, its consideration may take from three to five years," Mr. Donskoi noted.

The Minister added that Russia has the right to submit any additional materials at any time while the application is being reviewed. The duration of the consideration process is not limited.

In early August, Russia submitted an application to the United Nations for the expansion of its Arctic continental shelf sector to include the Lomonosov Ridge and other continental formations. Russia had earlier submitted a similar application that was turned down because of lack of information. To prepare a new application, experts conducted extensive geological and geophysical research in the Arctic Ocean. They studied the geological composition of the Mendeleyev and Lomonosov ridges, took bathymetrical images and conducted essential seismological research.

The new application includes underwater territories with a total area of about 1.2 million square kilometers and an estimated 4.9 billion metric tons of standard fuel.