Gazprom given green light for arctic work

May 3, 2013 at 8:04 AM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, May 3 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom has the right to try to access the estimated 63.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the arctic, the prime minister said.

Russian Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree Friday that gives Gazprom the right to explore four natural gas fields in the Barents Sea. The four fields combined may hold more natural gas than the 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced by Gazprom last year, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reports.

Medvedev's decree means that Gazprom has to pay about $290 million for exploration rights through 2018.

Gazprom and Russian oil company Rosneft are the only companies authorized to work in the Russian arctic, though neither company has started a formal exploration campaign.

Gazprom last week sent applications to the government for 20 licenses for blocks in the Barents, Kara, East Siberian and Chukchi seas. Melting arctic sea ice is exposing areas believed to hold deposits of oil and natural gas.

Gazprom this year produced its first volumes of oil from the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea using a stationary platform designed specifically for operations in arctic conditions.

Greenpeace campaigners last year occupied the Prirazlomnoye oil rig, saying it was trying to stop "the destruction of the planet."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Texas reviews seismic link to fracking
Energy Department says gas prices should fall after Labor Day
U.S. Navy receives first low-rate production RAM Bock 2 missile
Marcellus booming, Wood Mackenzie says
Minnesota military base to host solar farm
Trending News