VLADIVOSTOK, September 13. /TASS/. The dispute between Russia and Denmark on their rights to the continental shelf territories in the Arctic Ocean is yet to be settled, Russia’s Natural Resources Minister Dmitry Kobylkin told TASS on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
"This is a complex process that cannot be resolved in one session. Everyone has its point. We will have to work on it. The issue is still on the agenda," the minister said.
According to a Financial Times publication, the Arctic applications of Russia and Denmark "overlap by about 550,000 sq km, with both claiming the Lomonosov Ridge that stretches 1,800km from off the coast of Greenland and Canada to Russian waters above eastern Siberia."
The minister said that the two states have not managed to solve the problem of overlap in their applications yet but Russia has airtight arguments in its feasibility study.
"The UN Commission meets regularly. We are moving forward on this difficult issue. Taking into account the sanctions and the current attitude towards Russia today, there are many opinions on how this border (marking the territories of Russia and Denmark in the Arctic region -TASS) should be established. But it is very difficult for professional geologists - and there are many of them in the commission - to refute our professional and firm arguments," the minister said.
Russia presented the application for expansion of continental shelf limits in the Arctic region by 1.2 mln square kilometers to the UN commission in August 2015.
According to the lowest estimates, this will allow to increase potential hydrocarbon reserves by 5 billion tonnes of fuel equivalent.
According to the international law, the North Pole and the adjacent region of the Arctic Ocean do not belong to any country. Norway, USA, Canada and Denmark also claim different parts of the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. The interest is dictated by the fact that the area offers 83 billion tonnes of conventional fuel, including around 80% in the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea. At the same time, probability of discovering new large oil and gas fields on practically unexplored shelf regions is very high.
To date, Denmark is the only Arctic state besides Russia, which filed the application for the expansion of continental shelf in the Arctic shelf.