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Russia and Norway may sign seismic agreement on Arctic in fall

May 30, 2017, 17:02 UTC+3 OLSO

The 40-year-long dispute was about the territory in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean

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OLSO, May 30. /TASS/. Russia and Nowray may sign an agreement on seismic studies on the Barents Sea’s shelf’s former disputable area not earlier than in September, Russia’s Minister of Nature and Ecology Sergei Donskoi told TASS on Tuesday.

"We plan to sign the seismic agreement soon, but now it is clear that with the current Norwegian government the agreement would not be signed," the Russian minister said. "In September, they (Norway) will change the government, and from September we shall be working on."

The 40-year-long dispute was about the territory in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. It was settled only in 2010 as Russia and Norway agreed to divide the sea areas in the Barents Sea and in the Arctic Ocean.

The so-called "grey zone" of 175,000 square kilometers in the Barents Sea was divided by the countries into two equal parts. Russia and Norway agreed the oil and gas deposits on the border line of the former "grey zone" would be developed jointly. The countries have been discussing for a few years already how to develop jointly the trans-border deposits.

The territory, which remained outside of seismologists’ reach for a long time, now is studied by both Russian and Norwegian oil companies, which hope to find new big deposits there.

Exclusively promising there is the 70-km Svod Fedynskogo - back in the 1980s the Soviet scientists estimated the reserves there higher than at the Shtockman gas and condensate field (the reserves make 3.9 trillion cubic meters of gas and 56 million tonnes of gas condensate).

In early 2017, the Russian government drafted an agreement between Russia and Norway on collection of seismic data on the continental shelf in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, planning the document could be inked in April.

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