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Sunday, 14 April 2013 10:20

Arctic: in the struggle for resources

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The gradual depletion of resources and the uneven provision of global natural resources, forcing industry and business to pay attention to the most difficult to develop the area. In the new special interest is the Arctic with its huge hydrocarbon deposits, rare earth metals, gold, silver, and other important natural resources.

Back in 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey published data, according to which in the Arctic may be nearly a quarter of the world's oil and gas. Russia is especially lucky because we own a huge part of the Arctic zone. According to "Gazprom", only on Russia's continental shelf contains about 100 billion tons of hydrocarbons. Gas reserves of the Yamal Peninsula has about 16 trillion tons, and in the depths of the Yamal presumably are 230 million tons of condensate and almost 300 million tons of oil.

But to get to the natural treasures of the Arctic is not so easy. Russia needed for a short period to actually create new industry with the release of base-oriented enterprises shelf development, said the head of engineering and technology for offshore OAO "Gazprom" Vladimir Vovk. According to experts, "conquerors" in the Arctic is faced with many technological and engineering problems. "In particular, there are no facilities for year-round operation in the region offshore, no technical means of exploration in the ice conditions, technology, construction and repair of subsea pipelines in water depths of over 100 m, the capacity to manufacture equipment for arranging offshore, LNG, storage and transportation, "- said Vladimir Vovk.

A key aspect to address these and many other problems experts believe the investment climate. To do this, enter the incentives of investors, for example, to simplify the procedure for obtaining permits for projects in the Arctic zone. Today, the investor must have four key documents, other than Western standards, and the examination and approval are complex, costly and unduly prolonged. Increase the cost of sea and megaprojects are gaps in Russian law: lack of technical regulations for many offshore facilities and direct application rates of value added tax (VAT) to the operations carried out on the continental shelf. As a result, companies working on the shelf, are not able to exercise the right to deduct the "input" VAT, which leads to a significant increase in their costs and, as a consequence, increase the cost of offshore projects.

But in order for investors to come in the Arctic, we must decide, first of all, transportation and infrastructure problems. Communication richness of the Arctic zone of Russia is very low. Here are few of the city, ground transportation link is poorly developed, and that air and river transportation prohibitively expensive. In such circumstances, many Arctic marine transport is the only means of ensuring bulk transportation. The issue of access to the mineral wealth of the Arctic regions of Russia can not be separated from the question of settling the most important transport artery in the Arctic - the Northern Sea Route.

"We intend to turn the Northern Sea Route is one of the key trade routes, and the global importance and global scale," - said Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the International Forum "The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue." According to him, the Northern Sea Route is quite able to compete with the traditional sea lines as the cost of services, and safety and quality.

"In the Arctic is the shortest route between the major markets of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, this way almost a third shorter than the traditional southern route, it's a great opportunity to optimize transportation costs, so the state, private companies, who will choose Arctic transportation undoubtedly receive significant economic benefits and dividends, "- said Vladimir Putin.

Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, also spoke at the forum, I am sure that the revival of the Northern Sea Route will be able to change the world trade routes, the more so in recent times this contributes to global warming. "The melting of Arctic ice, it can be said, as if brings to Europe, Asia and America. This seems paradoxical circumstance, but also new opportunities! "

They call attention to foreign states to the Northern Sea Route, as well as attempts to change its legal status. For example, Norway has repeatedly advocated that to convert the Northern Sea Route in the international transit routes, outside the control of Russia. However, the concern of the countries interested in setting up polar transport network can be understood in the last 20-30 years, it almost did not develop.

The problem, as always, have promised to solve. Transport Minister Igor Levitin said that the three-year federal budget is already put 20 billion rubles for the construction of icebreakers, and the shipyards of the country will build three nuclear and three diesel-electric icebreaker. The first new type of icebreaker will be laid in the next year. Currently Arctic transport fleet numbers more than 150 cargo ships Arctic ice classes. The Northern Sea Route now serves 10 linear icebreakers, of which 6 are atomic, including built in 2007, nuclear icebreaker "50 Years of Victory", and four diesel.

According to Igor Levitin, in the coming years will also need to decide the issue of bonds along the Northern Sea Route, so now there is a work on the installation of towers and repeaters.

As stated in a recent interview with the Governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast Ilya Mikhalchuk, the best of times for the Northern Sea Route is wheeling around 6 million tonnes of cargo annually. Governor says: "We have kept the position as related to the Arctic, and are ready to once again become the center of the development of the Northern Sea Route. Retained a single transport network of highways, airlines, railways and waterways in the region operating system ports, oil depots and oil terminal. And the most precious that we have preserved, - the people. Thousands of professionals have been tested in the Arctic, having gained invaluable experience "- said Mikhalchuk.



Anastasia Kazimirko-Kirillova



Source: http://www.tpp-inform.ru/security/1633.html

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