Prirazlomnaya field in the eastern Barents Sea was supposed to be the first operating offshore oil production on Russia’s Arctic continental shelf when the platform was towed out from Murmansk in the autumn 2011. Today, one and a half year later, the workers are still challenging the technical problems and production is said to start earliest in September this year.
But there is no urgent need for offshore oil-production as Russia for the second year in a row takes the top position among global oil producers. Output of crude oil was 518 million tons last year, according to figures presented by the Ministry of Energy. That is an increase of 1,3 percent from 2011.
Saudi Arabia takes the second place on the list of the largest oil producers in the world.
Oil and gas production in Russia is of high importance for the economy accounting for 49 percent of the country’s budget revenues.
The Barents Region has some of the last largest areas of intact natural woodlands in Europe. Scientists, bureaucrats and environmentalists from all four Barents countries cooperate on preserving the forest, but an international initiative is needed.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.