Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Trefilov

Natural Resources Minister urges Arctic development

Russia should not postpone the development of Arctic resources despite the current unfavorable economic situation, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said.

"Putting off the development of Arctic potential until better times? Definitely not," he was quoted by Rossiya Segodnya as saying at the business session of the Arctic Days in Moscow forum.

The development process should not be affected by the current economic situation or Western sanctions against Russia or low oil prices, he said.

Western countries have banned equipment supplies and the provision of services for deep-water prospecting, oil production and Arctic operations as part of anti-Russian sanctions, and have also limited foreign companies' participation in Russian Arctic shelf development projects.

According to ministry estimates, initial recoverable hydrocarbon reserves in the Arctic stand at approximately 260 billion metric tons of equivalent fuel — over half of Russia's entire hydrocarbon resources. Over 90 percent of territories on the Arctic shelf and 53 percent on land have yet to be prospected.