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ARKHANGELSK, March 29. /TASS/. The current Russian moratorium on the issuance of shelf licenses is justified and there is no reason to lift it so far, the head of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Usage (Rosnedra) said in an interview with TASS Wednesday.
"Licenses have been issued for all areas where deposits were confirmed by more or less reliable data. Issues of developing the technologies and studying those areas are now in the spotlight. Why putting an extra burden on the licensing fund? We still don’t have sufficient shelf reserves, no technologies for prospecting and extraction under those difficult conditions. I don’t see any reasons for lifting this moratorium, and the government’s actions in this direction are totally sensible," Rosnedra chief Yevgeny Kiselyov told TASS.
Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy said in February that the government has no plans to lift the moratorium, but the issue could be reviewed once the oil market stabilizes.
The government imposed a temporary moratorium on issuing Arctic shelf licenses in 2016. The right to operate on the shelf was granted only to oil major Rosneft and gas giant Gazprom.