MOSCOW–The chief executive of Russia’s OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) said the state-owned natural gas monopoly doesn’t want the government to allow development of the country’s largely untapped Arctic shelf gas fields by private energy companies, Russian agencies report Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at the Arctic city of Novy Urengoi, Alexei Millersaid the company won’t provide the state with the licenses for the offshore fields it is not interested in.
The issue of whether state or privately-owned companies should be allowed to develop the potentially huge resources on Russia’s shelf has been simmering for some time. Non-state firms such as OAO Lukoil Holdings (LKOH.RS), Russia’s second-largest crude oil producer, have long pushed for permission to be involved.
Russia’s natural resources ministry proposed Tuesday that offshore oil and gas fields on the country’s Arctic shelf that aren’t wanted by state-controlled firms should be explored and developed by non-state companies.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last August called for the government’s shelf development plan to be reworked but the new plan has been delayed due to reported opposition from Gazprom and Rosneft over allowing non-state firms to own offshore licenses.
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