Russia to Receive up to $5B from Offshore Licenses in 2013

MOSCOW – Russia's budget will receive as much as 150 billion Russian rubles ($5 billion) this year from the sale of licenses to explore hydrocarbon deposits on its Arctic shelf, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted as saying Monday by Interfax news agency.

Exploration of Russia's shelf – a potentially huge but as yet largely untapped source of oil and gas – is limited to state-controlled companies OAO Rosneft and OAO Gazprom.

Rosneft, the country's largest oil producer, will receive licenses for 12 offshore blocks in the coming days, Mr. Dvorkovich said.

The deputy prime minister also said Russia, the world's largest energy producer, would maintain its current levels of oil and gas production by developing new deposits. Russian oil output reached a post-Soviet high last year, but it is having to develop new, more remote fields as output at Soviet-era deposits declines. Gas production slipped 2.3% last year.



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