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Russia to Benefit From Lion’s Share of Arctic Shelf Oil and Gas by 2030

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According to a report from the World Petroleum Council, between now and 2030, Russia’s share of the oil and gas extracted from the Arctic shelf will be 55 percent, followed by Norway, Canada and the USA.

A view of the Severnaya Verf shipyard at dawn in St. Petersburg

Between now and 2030, Russia will account for 55 percent of all oil and gas extracted from the Arctic shelf, increasing production 3.6 times to 2.2 million barrels per day [BPD], according to a report produced this week by the World Petroleum Council [WPC].

Rosneft oil major’s CEO Igor Sechin on Saturday protested against liberalizing access to Russia’s Arctic shelf for private companies.

After Russia, the next most prolific Arctic producer will be Canada, which is set to increase its production from 200,000 BPD to 900,000 over the next 15 years, followed by Norway, with an increase from 100,000 to 700,000 BPD, and then the USA, which is expected to increase production in Alaska by 50,000 BPD, to 150,000 BPD.The report was produced for the WPC by Norwegian energy consultancy firm Rystat Energy. There, Project Manager Jon Marsh Duesund told the daily newspaper Izvestiya that the greatest growth will occur after 2020, when the analysts expect the price of oil to be $100 per barrel and spur greater production.

The main drivers of growth for Russian hydrocarbon production in the Arctic will be the Sakhalin projects in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea, and the Prirazlomnoye and Dolginskoye fields in the Pechora Sea, the licenses for which are held by state-run Gazprom and its subsidiary Gazprom Neft.  A total 68 licenses for Arctic shelf exploration are held by the Gazprom conglomerate, while another 51 licenses are held by Rosneft, also state-run.

LNG plant construction in Yamal
A view of the Arktika rig on the South Tambey gas field in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, northern Siberia.

“Active geological exploration work is already underway at half of the licensed sites, and hydrocarbons are being extracted at one quarter of them,” Alexey Grivach, the Deputy General Director of Russia’s National Energy Security Fund, told Izvestiya.According to the WPC, two of the three most promising sites for the extraction of hydrocarbons belong to Russia. The Arctic shelf blocks in the Kara Sea have the most prospects, with potential reserves of more than 90 billion barrels [of which 18 billion has been extracted], followed by fields in the Barents Sea and Pechora Sea, where there are reserves of 55 billion barrels [30 billion extracted]. In third place is the US territory of Alaska, with reserves estimated at 38 billion barrels, three billion of which has been extracted.

In fourth place is Russia’s oil fields in the East Siberian Sea [20 billion barrels] and the Barents Sea oil fields, which hold a potential 20 billion [five billion already extracted] shared between Russia and Norway. The report from the WPC estimates that in 2030, around 80 percent of the Arctic’s hydrocarbon reserves will have remained unexplored.