Mapping reveals significant new oil resources

Russia is stepping up geological Arctic mapping and will enhance focus on Spitsbergen.

Russian authorities continue hydrocarbon mapping in Arctic waters and will strengthen its regional geopolitical position, including in the Spitsbergen archipelago.


Summing up it geological exploration activities in 2013, Rosnedra, the sub-soil agency, states that “a significant number of perspective oil and gas objects has been made ready for inclusion in the federal licensing programme”, a press release reads. Another 110,000 square km of offshore areas are now well studied, the agency informs.

Of the 22 offshore areas mapped in the course of the year, the lion’s share is in the Arctic. Special focus has been put on the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and the East-Siberian Sea. 

Rosnedra in 2013 spent 13,2 billion rubles (€290 million) on all its geological mapping activities, and this sum will in 2014 increase with an estimated eight percent.

The studies initiated by Rosnedra come in addition to the geological mapping conducted by private companies. As previously reported, Rosneft and its foreign partners in 2013 completed significant seismic operations in parts of the Arctic. According to the Russian company, a total of 32,727 km of 2D mapping, and another 2559 square kilometers of 3D mapping was completed.

Rosnedra will in 2014 follow up the mapping of offshore Arctic resources. It will also continue to study the extension of the Russian Arctic shelf with the aim of submitting a renewed bid to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

According to the agency it will also “conduct the necessary work to secure Russia`s geopolitical interests in the Archipelago of Spitsbergen”.