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Russia to Decide on Shelf Access for Private Firms by End of July

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankPrirazlomnaya offshore oil platform
Prirazlomnaya offshore oil platform - Sputnik International
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin said that final decision on whether to grant private companies access to the Russian shelf will be made by the end of July.

Arctic Sky - Sputnik International
Russia Has No Plans on Gas Drilling in Arctic Shelf in 2015
MOSCOW (Sputnik) The final decision on whether to grant private companies access to the Russian shelf will be made by the end of July, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin said Monday.

A governmental commission will hold a meeting on the issue in early June, Khloponin told reporters. "The final decision should be made before the end of July."

Under the existing laws, only Russian energy companies with majority state ownership and five years' experience in offshore drilling are allowed to extract oil and gas from Russia's shelf deposits.

There are currently only two firms – Gazprom and Rosneft – that meet these requirements. Rosneft has been drilling for hydrocarbons together with several foreign partners.

Several private companies have previously requested to ease access to the Arctic shelf. Khloponin has advocated greater access to the country's Arctic offshore deposits with strict conditions on development.

The Arctic shelf is believed to hold huge amounts of oil and natural gas. Russia has been laying claims to these deposits within its offshore border areas, as have four other Arctic nations – the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark.

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