Russian Prime Minister In Favor of Opening Arctic O&G Exploration to Non-State Owned Energy Companies

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March 1, 2012

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MOSCOW -(Dow Jones)- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, strong favorite to win the presidential election on Sunday, said Wednesday Russia should allow non-state companies access to explore offshore reserves, because current restrictions hinder production growth.

“We have (previously) made a decision that only state-controlled companies may work offshore in the northern seas. This, in my view, is slightly constraining production development,” Putin said according to the Interfax news agency.

“We have to consider what can be done further to broaden the opportunities,” he said.

Currently only state-controlled OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) and OAO Rosneft (ROSN.RS) have the rights to develop strategic offshore reserves.

-By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Dow Jones Newswires

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