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The Arctic: Breakthrough Territory or White Hole?

The Arctic: Breakthrough Territory or White Hole?

The Arctic project is turning into one of the main economic initiatives of the Russian government. The Cabinet hopes that the Arctic development will facilitate national economic growth. The reasoning is simple: production of hydrocarbons requires manufacturing of corresponding machinery and equipment; the produce must be transported, which implies construction of a new Arctic fleet. Consequently, it may develop into international cargo transit via the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

However, the reality is as severe as the climate in this region.

Plans to build vessels fall behind the schedule, while Russian shipbuilding capacities are already not sufficient. The NSR did not attract the transit cargo even after the Suez Canal was blocked, because the ice breaker assistance is expensive and because there is no corresponding infrastructure. Mineral production projects are also rather ambiguous – LNG production in the Arctic is already the reality with new projects in the making, but in the sphere of oil production the situation is not very optimistic.

Meanwhile, many projects are openly subsidized by the government; they even compete with each other for financial assistance of the state. This situation vividly demonstrates effective lobbyism of certain companies.

The most remarkable method of lobbyism is to make sure that a particular project is stipulated by some state program related to the Arctic development – the number of such documents is constantly growing. Thus, interests of corporations become tasks of state importance that bureaucrats have to take into account and implement.

As a result, the Arctic topic becomes surrounded by various strategies and roadmaps; the structure of state regulation of this region becomes complicated amid constant reforms in the so-called development institutions. All these factors only draw the state into the Arctic case stronger and stronger, and nobody raises questions about economic expediency of many of these projects in the near future.

In the new report, you will find out:

  • How the structure of state regulation of the Arctic has changed and what the outcome of the latest reshuffle in the government is?
  • How do top Arctic bureaucrats struggle for key regulatory mechanisms and powers? The role of relevant ministries, agencies and government commissions;
  • How do new official programs and plans describe the Arctic development? How realistic are they? What beneficiaries are behind each of these documents?
  • Main corporate projects in the Arctic; their prospects and level of state support;
  • Development of the Northern Sea Route and the Arctic fleet; the struggle of Rosatom (NSR operator) for state budget resources;
  • Medium-term prospects of the Arctic megaproject

Contents of the report:

INTRODUCTION 3
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARCTIC IN OFFICIAL PROGRAMS AND PLANS OF THE GOVERNMENT 5
THE STATE SYSTEM REGULATING THE ARCTIC 16
PROJECTS OF COMPANIES 28
LNG projects of NOVATEK 28
Projects of Rosneft in the Arctic 41
Projects of Gazprom Neft 46
Pechora LNG 48
Shtokman project 50
DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTHERN SEA ROUTE, PROGRAMS OF ARCTIC SHIPBUILDING 51
MEDIUM-TERM FORECAST OF DEVELOPMENTS 61
Date of release: October 4, 2021

 


If you are interested to obtain please contact » Elena Kim

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Analytical series “The Fuel and Energy Complex of Russia”:

Europe’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism: Prospects for Russian Suppliers, Russia’s Potential Response
The Arctic: Breakthrough Territory or White Hole?
Hydrocarbon Rush to East: Current Status, Medium-term Prospects
Hydrogen as New Energy Hope
Russian Oil Production and Export in Time of Low Prices and OPEC+

All reports for: 2015 , 14 , 13 , 12 , 11 , 10 , 09 , 08 , 07

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