Rosneft forms Arctic eco-alliance with Statoil

Rosneft acknowledges the unique features of the Arctic ecosystems, the company says. Photo: Rosneft

Preparing for drilling in some of the world’s least accessible waters, Russia’s expansionist oil giant acknowledges that the Arctic environment requires special protective measures.


Company leader Igor Sechin this week signed a declaration on environmental protection in the Arctic with Statoil CEO Helge Lund.

“Aiming to continuously improve their technology and operational procedures for exploration and development in the Arctic, Rosneft and Statoil reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development, including minimizing the impact of oil and gas activities on indigenous populations and climate change”, a press release from the Russian company reads.

The declaration is reportedly based on an initiative from the Russian side, which acknowledges that “the Arctic environment consists of ecosystems with unique features and resources” and therefore “requires special protective measures”.

The declaration commits both parties to “seek to coordinate activities in order to preserve the biodiversity of the Arctic, including observing the principles and recommendations of the Convention on biological diversity and the standards set by IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues”, the company informs.

Rosneft and Statoil in May this year announced the establishment of joint ventures in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. The joint initiative will give the Norwegian company a 33,4 percent stake in the new operating companies. As previously reported, the deal could include total investments of up to $35-40 billion. 

In order to ensure effective implementation of the Declaration, Rosneft and its industry partners will consider the establishment of a dedicated Coordination Centre with the participation of representatives of Roskosmos, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Management and Natural Disasters Response (EMERCOM).

Rosneft is the state-owned company, which after the recent incorporation of the TNK structures, is becoming the biggest oil producer in the world. At the same time, the company is among the Russian oil producers with the worst environmental reputation. As previously reported, a report from the Russian Environmental Control Agency (Rosprirodnadzor) shows that Rosneft is the by far worst polluter in the Khanti-Mansiisk region, Russia’s top oil producing province. The company in 2011 had a total of 2727 registered spills in the region, which amounts to 75 percent of all cases reported