MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russian oil industry major, OAO Rosneft, has suggested a revision of the period of geological exploration on the continental shelf of Arctic years and its prolongation to fifteen years from the currently authorized ten years, an official spokesman for the company told TASS on Monday.
Terms for the geological exploration of mineral resources are specified in Article 10 of the federal Law on Mineral Resources. This legislative act was passed before the issuance of the first-ever license for exploration of oilfields on the Arctic shelf and this means it does not take account of specific features of operations in the Arctic water areas.
“Icing conditions in the Arctic Seas make it impossible to perform the amounts of geological works typical of warmer seas,” the spokesman said. “There are whole seasons when any exploration works are simply impossible. Take for instance the greater section of the East-Siberian Sea where there have been no ice-free water spaces for five of the past fifteen years.”
He also pointed out the absence of any technologies that would allow exploration activities in the conditions of icing or under the ice shield.
Since such factors, which are commonly known, put up a major obstacle for the use of natural resources, Rosneft finds it necessary to make relevant amendments in the Law on Mineral Resources.
“A bill proposed by our corporation specifies realistic terms for geological exploration in the water areas,” the spokesman said, adding that the Ministry of Natural Resources had recognized the substantial character of the arguments put forward by Rosneft.
At present, the ministry is scrutinizing the issue, he said.
Rosneft says it remains committed to the plans to launch commercial production of crude oil on the continental shelf in 2020.