“Welcome to our shelf”

Russia intends to boost foreign investments at its Arctic shelf. Photo illustration:

Russia over the next years intends to attract up to $1 trillion of foreign investments in energy projects.


In a period major outflow of cash and investments from Russia, federal authorities now present plans for a huge charm offensive among potential foreign investors.

In an interview, the country’s Minister of Energy Aleksandr Novak says a major energy project marketing campaign will unfold in October this year. According to the minister, the hope is to attract as much as $1 trillion of foreign investments by year 2020. The projects in question will first of all be in Eastern Siberia and on the shelf, newspaper Vedomosti reports

The ultimate goal is to boost the level of offshore oil and gas from today’s 5-6 percent of production to 20-30 percent, Novak says.

Russian petroleum industry is coming to a crossroads as existing land-based fields are beyond peak production and the tapping of offshore resources becomes the only way to uphold volumes. Experiences, technology and cash from abroad is increasingly seen as the only way for the country to expand into the shelf.

As previously reported, the Russian government in early August this year also announced a new shelf develop programme, which is to include tax breaks and enhanced involvement of private companies.

The new investment approach comes as Russia’s main state-own oil producer Rosneft already is engaging extensively with foreign oil majors like ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil in grand Arctic offshore projects.

Currently, the Russian oil and gas industry accounts for as much as 49 percent of the country’s tax revenues. In 2011, 5.5 billion roubles were collected from the companies.