February 05, 2013 08:55
Protocol of meeting on shelf only proposes returning blocks not needed by state cos
MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) - The protocol of the government meeting on the development of Russia's continental shelf that was held in Novy Urengoi in January proposes only to work out issues concerning the introduction of a mechanism to return offshore blocks not needed by state companies, and does not contain any proposals on giving private companies access to offshore development.
The protocol, which has been reviewed by Interfax, states that the Natural Resources Ministry, together with leading oil and gas companies and relevant government agencies, is supposed to work out by February 20 the issue of "establishing a mechanism for the return to the undistributed fund of resource blocks of the Russian continental shelf or its parts on which geological surveys have been completed, including if companies controlled by the state decline them."
The ministry is also supposed to work out by February 20 the issue of "establishing insurance and compensation instructions to ensure environmental safety in the development of the shelf, as well as other mechanisms ensuring the prevention and cleanup of emergency situations during work on the shelf."
The ministry has also been instructed to work out ways and means for raising investment for offshore development and study "the advisability of conducting multi-client seismic surveys on sections of the shelf and regulatory mechanisms for such surveys."
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, the Finance Ministry and Energy Ministry have been instructed to work out a mechanism for including projects in the Caspian Sea, as well as the projects to develop the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea and the Kirinskoye field in the Sea of Okhotsk in the system of tax breaks for offshore projects.
The Industry and Trade Ministry, together with state oil major Rosneft (RTS: ROSN) and gas giant Gazprom (RTS: GAZP), is supposed to work out the issue of establishing requirements and standards for equipment used on the shelf by February 20.
The Natural Resources Ministry, together with other agencies, is supposed to prepare the issue of financing construction of ships for the Federal Natural Resources Oversight Service (Rosprirodnadzor) for monitoring of companies' offshore operations.
The Federal Customs Service, Transport Ministry and Federal Security Service have been instructed to prepare the issue of introducing simplified procedures for delivery of personnel and equipment to offshore facilities by February 20.
At the January 15, the Natural Resources Ministry proposed considering giving private companies access to development of the continental shelf, but it ran into opposition from Gazprom and Rosneft, which now have a monopoly on such development rights.
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