Murmansk gas field will not be developed, government decides
The federal government has officially placed the Murmanskoye and Severo-Kildinskoye fields in the Barents Sea on its so-called reserve list of natural resources.
That means that the two fields are likely to never be developed. The list includes natural resources, which will be developed only in cases of special demand.
According to a government decree of 2013, the reserve list includes mineral resource fields which are considered «economically inefficient under the ruling state of market affairs», or which are complicated to develop because of «lack of equipment of technology».
The government decision is based on a proposal from the Ministry of Natural Resources, a press release reads.
The Murmanskoye and Severo-Kildinskoye are estimated to hold respectively 120 billion cubic meters and 16,4 billion cubic meters of gas. They are both located about 200 km north of the Kola Peninsula.
It is a blow to the government of Murmansk, which has long desired the development of the nearby natural gas fields. After the collapse of the Shtokman project, regional authorities have pinned their hopes to alternative projects, among them the Murmanskoye field.
Reportedly, both Gazprom and Rosneft have previously expressed interest in the Murmanskoye resources. And it was long believed that the Ministry of Natural Resources would offer the field in an upcoming auction.
In an interview last fall, Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy said that the federal government has not yet decided which which of the two companies will get the Murmanskoye license, but that the main rule is that ”Gazprom gets licenses to gas fields while Rosneft gets the oil fields”.