Sechin brings renewed confidence to Murmansk

Igor Sechin this week made it clear that he is ready to invest in Murmansk

The oil company is ready to invest in regional infrastructure, establish oil base facilities and develop a new regional gasification system based on LNG.


Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun last week admitted that her region is suffering from a “post-Shtokman syndrome” following Gazprom’s decision to stall the great offshore gas project in the Barents Sea. Now, the region is getting back it confidence as key player in the Arctic from another energy company. During this week’s Saint Petersburg Economic Forum, Governor Kovtun signed two agreements with Rosneft, both of them of key importance for the region’s economic development. 

“We hope that today, here and now, marks the birth of a new future for Murmansk Oblast,” Governor Kovtun said after the signing of two agreements with Rosneft President Igor Sechin. “We are getting new perspectives and new partners who will help us make a powerful leap ahead”, she added in a press release.

According to the agreements, Rosneft will take part in the development of the Murmansk Transport Hub and the regional Special Economic Port Zone. In addition, the oil company will help develop a system of regional gasification based on supplies of LNG, as well as establish regional supply base facilities for its huge Arctic offshore projects. Rosneft will also participate in the development of a regional gas-based fuel system for auto transport, the Murmansk regional government informs.

Rosneft will also look at the possibility to construct a complex for LNG ship bunkering.

“These agreements will give a significant contribution to the economic development of the region and help create a regional logistical platform for the realization of Rosneft’s Arctic project”, a press release from the company reads.

Murmansk has for years worked hard to find alternatives to its current high level of dependency of heavy oil as heating source. The region is today one of the least gasificated in Russia. Regional authorities long put its energy future in the hands of Gazprom, which planned to fuel Murmansk with massive volumes of gas from the Shtokman project. Today, Murmansk is replacing Gazprom with Rosneft, and its development of a LNG supply system in the region.

As previously reported, Rosneft has over the last years increasingly looked towards Murmansk Oblast as a key region in its Arctic efforts. In July 2012, it bought the oil terminal located at Shipyard No. 35 from the United Shipbuilding Corporation for €22.8 million. Only few weeks fore that, the company secured 100 percent control over the Murmansk-based Arktikshelfneftegaz, a company with extensive experiences in Arctic exploration.