Russia is planning to grow oil and gas shipments from greenfield sites in West and East Siberia to Asia across the Arctic in the next 15 years in a bid to stir economic activity in remote and largely unpopulated areas of the country.
At a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in the port of Murmansk on Wednesday, governmental officials were upbeat about the ability of Russian players Novatek and Rosneft to ship millions of tonnes of oil and liquefied natural gas annually.
The meeting participants also welcomed the start of operations of the nuclear icebreaker Arktika.
Arktika is one of the five such vessels that the government plans to build to support year-round transportation of oil, gas and coal through its Arctic seas both westwards to Europe and eastwards to Asia.
Authorities expect Novatek to ship 35.5 million tonnes of LNG in 2024 to international markets from its projects on the Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas, it was said at the meeting.
Additionally, state-controlled oil producer Gazprom Neft is expected to export 6.7 million tonnes (49 million barrels) of oil from its Novoport greenfield on the Yamal Peninsula in the same year.
After 2024, the government expects another steep rise in oil and gas deliveries, with Novatek chairman Leonid Mikhelson reiterating the company's target of producing 70 million tonnes of LNG in 2030.
The Rosneft-led Vostok Oil project in East Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region is expected to provide up to 30 million tonnes (220 million barrels) of shipments by 2035.
Russian Minister for the Far Eastern Development, Alexander Kozlov, said at the meeting that authorities also rely on Novatek’s growing LNG shipments to deliver stable supplies of clean fuel to a major mining project on Chukotka, existing end-customers on Kamchatka and other major developments in regions along the eastwards route.
Besides an LNG floating storage and regasification unit near the Kamchatka capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Novatek has agreed to install an FSRU on Chukotka to deliver gas to a planned major power utility, according to Kozlov.
The utility will supply electricity to the Baimskoye copper field project that Kazakhstan’s Kaz Minerals bought from Russian businessman Roman Abramovich in 2018.