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Moscow to Replace Western Companies if They Quit Energy Projects in Russia

© Sputnik / Alexei Nikolsky / Go to the mediabankRussian Energy Minister Alexander Novak
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak - Sputnik International
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated that if Western oil companies decide to quit their projects in Russia due to sanctions, Moscow will attract partners from other countries.

MOSCOW, November 22 (Sputnik) — If Western oil companies decide to quit their projects in Russia due to sanctions, Moscow will attract partners from other countries, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Saturday.

"If companies in the long-term perspective decide not to participate in the investment projects [oil and gas projects in the Arctic], we will attract investors from those countries that have not imposed sanctions targeting our oil and gas companies," Novak said at the Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving (ENES) forum in Moscow.

The minister noted that the situation surrounding Russian oil and gas sectors is uncertain due to the sanctions introduced by the West. The restrictions concern projects in the Arctic and the deep shelf, as well as some hard-to-recover reserves.

"On the one hand [Western] companies would like to continue their work [in Russia], on the other hand, their regulators do not allow them to do so. This uncertainty should be overcome," the minister added.

Novak stated that Moscow was ready to invest in Russian companies or to attract funding from countries willing to cooperate.

On November 8, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev stated that Russian energy giants Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom were considering listing their securities in Asian currencies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as a measure aimed at avoiding US and European markets.

The United States, the European Union and other countries have imposed several waves of sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. The most recent waves of sanctions particularly targeted the country's energy sector, prohibiting the export of goods, services and technologies for deepwater, Arctic and shale oil exploration to Russia.

For instance, Gazprom has several projects on shale oil that include the Palyanovskaya zone and the Priobskoye field, as well as joint projects with Shell. Rosneft collaborates with Norway's state-owned energy giant Statoil on projects in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as pilot projects for heavy oil in Siberia and shale oil in the Samara region. All those projects and many others are under threat due to Western sanctions.

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