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The U.S. State Department: Russia prepares aggression against the USA by hand of Chukchi people

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They were going to break the Arctic to pieces

The Arctic doesn't hurry to start up the power giants on its cold spaces. At the beginning of this autumn, two large projects on oil and gas production on the Arctic shelf stopped for various reasons. It is possible to say that it was the false start of “the Arctic race”.

One of these days, the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas corporation Royal Dutch Shell intending to renew the oil production on a shelf of Alaska after 20-year break, was compelled to postpone these plans. As reports RIA Novosti news agency referring to the company message, it was possible to drill the well only for one day and then it was necessary to stop the works because of ices and damage during the tests of the equipment necessary for localization of possible failures. Because of need of its repair, Shell won't manage to drill a well before the ices in the Arctic. The deadline for drilling in these northern latitudes will come just one of these days – on September 24 (in the Chukchi Sea). However, on other site of drilling, in the Beaufort Sea, the ices rise a bit later – on October 31, so the company doesn't lose the hope to work there. The annoying thing is that Shell spent 4, 5 billion dollars and six years for preparations for the search and oil production beginning in the Arctic, overcoming of administrative barriers and receiving necessary permissions. Recently the company was compelled to overcome also the mass protests of the ecological organizations. And here is such ill luck.

It became known slightly earlier about a delay of other project – the gas production on the Shtokman field being on the Russian shelf of the Barents Sea. Its stocks are estimated at 3,9 trillion cubic meters and necessary investments into the development of these stocks – in 15-20 billion dollars. JSC Gazprom invited the French Total and the Norwegian Statoil to Shtokman's development. However, at the end of summer, the information that the conclusion of the investment agreement on development of this field is postponed, at least, till 2014 has arrived from the board of the Russian gas monopolist. The production as assumed the Agency on subsoil use will begin not earlier than 2018. Let's remind: according to primary plans, the Shtokman gas should go to Europe next year on the Nord Stream gas pipeline and a bit later – in the liquefied form – to start to win the market of the USA (the Shtokman's operators hoped to receive there a 10 percent share).

Certainly, not the ices prevented the implementation of these plans. The crisis in Europe, the stopped growth of consumption of gas by the Old World, and also “shale revolution” in the USA are guilty, allowed the superpower completely to provide the needs for “blue fuel” at the expense of internal production. In these conditions Qatar redirected the tankers-gas trucks to Europe and cut down the prices in the local market. The Russian gas temporarily appeared in EU the most expensive and the huge investments into fuel production with higher prime cost would be now unjustified. Now the participants of the Shtokman project look for ways of decrease of its cost (for example, the possibility of use of underwater extracting installations is considered).

At the same time, nobody cancelled the estimates according which the Arctic shelf contains to a quarter of world reserves of oil and gas. Besides, the climatic conditions become more and more favorable for the development of northern latitudes. According to the last report of the World meteorological organization, this summer the area of an ice cover of the Arctic was reduced till record-breaking small sizes: it was for 38,5 % less, than on the average during this period for the last 30 years.

And consequently Russia prepares for the real competition for resources of the Arctic along with other interested powers. While there are the legal fights: Russia proves the rights to a considerable part of the Arctic shelf in the relevant instances of the United Nations. Technical training is conducted: in Russia the project of a special vessel recently was developed for carrying out the drilling works in ices, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade declared the competition on development of the project of the research ice breaker for carrying out of oil and gas investigation in the Arctic.

The alliances of the large companies are formed with a view of the development of the Arctic stocks of oil and gas. So, at the end of August, JSC Rosneft and Statoil declared the agreement signing on the development of four oil fields on a shelf of the Barents and Okhotsk Seas. Earlier Rosneft concluded the strategic alliance with the American ExxonMobil: two giants will create the joint venture on production of hydrocarbons on the Russian shelf of the Black and Kara Seas (the preliminary estimate of investments across the Kara Sea makes 200-300 billion dollars), besides, Rosneft will receive the shares in the Exxon projects in the USA and Canada. The connection of so powerful forces doesn't leave the doubts that “the Arctic race” will begin soon and will be very intense. The increased activity of ecologists testifies it: the activists of “Greenpeace” try to stop Shell company activity on Alaska and recently “attacked” an oil and gas platform of Gazprom in the Barents Sea.

Viewed : 1938   Commented: 3

Author: Utro.ru

Publication date : 21 September 2012 15:00

Source: The world and we

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