Development of new Arctic oil fields not to start until late 2020s
The commercial development of new Arctic deposits, particularly those on the Arctic shelf, will not begin until the late 2020s or early 2030s, the news agency TASS reported citing a forecast of scientific and technological development of Russia's fuel and energy industry sectors through 2035, which was approved by Minister of Energy Alexander Novak.
The document emphasizes that the preparatory work for potential large-scale development of Arctic deposits needs to start now, given the current technical and technological condition of the Russian drilling fleet as well as the scale and complexity of the process.
"To implement Arctic shelf projects, it is necessary to build not only drilling and production platforms but also icebreakers, tankers and supply ships, which in turn calls for the modernization and development of new shipyards. We will have to overcome our critical dependence on imported equipment and services, which exceeds 90 percent of the equipment needed in Arctic shelf projects and is almost 100 percent for certain types of equipment," the document says.
In the long run, Arctic hydrocarbon production technologies will follow two lines in their development: deep-water drilling and production of hydrocarbons by ice- and quake-resistant platforms, as well as development of underwater remote-controlled robotized production systems capable of operating automatically for long periods of time.