MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-owned oil producer Rosneft plans to bid for 30 Arctic offshore oil deposits, Rosneft CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov said on Thursday.
Bogdanchikov told the 1st international economic forum in the Arctic city of Murmansk that the deposits, located in six Arctic seas, had estimated reserves of 18 billion metric tons of oil equivalent.
Bogdanchikov cited a Russian Natural Resources Ministry report that estimates Russian Arctic shelf exploration costs to be about 9-9.5 trillion rubles (about $307-324 billion).
He also added that, according to the law, only Gazprom, Rosneft and "maybe, one or two more companies" can work in the region.
At the same time, Bogdanchikov said he was against simplifying access for foreign companies to the Russian shelf.
"Licenses must be held by Russian companies and control must be exercised by Russian companies," Bogdanchikov said, adding that this approach was the easiest for foreign companies, as compared with other major hydrocarbon producing countries.
He added that Rosneft had already invested $13 billion in projects in the area.
Rosneft became Russia's largest oil producer after acquiring most of the assets of bankrupt oil firm Yukos through liquidation auctions in 2007.