Russia will step up development of oil and gas reserves in the Arctic, which are sufficient to last the country centuries, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
“The potential of the Arctic zone is huge. Speaking about offshore resources only, those are 15 billion tons of oil and around 100 trillion cubic meters of gas. That will suffice for decades, hundreds of years if they are required and it is economically reasonable,” Novak said during the educational marathon ‘New Knowledge’ earlier this week, as cited by TASS.
These resources are too costly to extract so far, but Novak says the government is optimistic and has already taken steps to develop the means for it.
“Those are rather expensive projects, which require provision, certain subsidies, including on taxes, return on investment. The government has provided such incentives for projects like that. Certain taxes have been slashed to zero for offshore projects,” Novak stated, noting, however, that Russia will only dip into its Arctic resources in the case that other regions fail to provide them.
At the Eastern Economic Forum that took place in Russia’s Vladivostok this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country bears a “huge responsibility” to have a “prudent” attitude toward natural resources of the Arctic.
“For Russia, this is of tremendous importance – the development of the region… The Arctic accounts for 18% of our territory and [its] reserves of raw materials are necessary not only to our country, but to the whole world,” the head of state said at the plenary session of the EEF.
“In this sense, we have a huge responsibility to treat this wealth prudently and thoughtfully,” Putin stressed.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section