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MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Russia’s state oil company has accused the Natural Resources Ministry of lobbying interests of private oil companies after the ministry proposed to liberalize access to Arctic shelf, according to the company’s statement on Wednesday.
The company said that the existing system protects the interest of the state.
"The existing system protects the interests of the state when developing the Arctic shelf and set clear rules of providing access to private partners both Russia and foreign ones", the company said.
The current mechanism envisages compulsory interaction with the state companies.
An official with Rosneft told TASS that by now state oil companies have received not more than 40% from the fund of non-distributed licenses to develop the Arctic shelf.
The official said that the statement by Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy that 80% of licenses were given to the state companies was incorrect.
"According to the estimates of the Federal Agency of Subsoil Usage, the shelf’s prospective area is 4.4 mln square meters, while the distributed fund accounts for the area of 1.8 mln square meters, which means that the share of non-distributed fund is 60%", Rosneft official said.
Earlier, Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry proposed to use the Norwegian experience of consortiums when developing the Arctic shelf.
According to Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy, the role of the state in this process is to select participants for such consortiums. He also said that consortiums won’t necessarily include state companies and agencies.
Rosneft said that the role of the state in consortiums as it was proposed by the ministry was bogus.
The Natural Resources Minister also said that the selection criteria for companies include their experience in shelf projects, regardless of the fact where it was obtained in Russia or abroad.
Rosneft added that the idea to allow private companies to develop the deposit seemed to be made especially for Lukoil, which is Russia’s largest private oil company.