Russian Arctic regions of Murmansk and Yamal widen cooperation

Two important regions in Russia’s Arctic ambitions – Murmansk and Yamalo-Nenets, have signed an agreement on cooperation.

Governor of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Dmitry Kobylkin on Tuesday visited Murmansk Oblast to discuss future joint projects and sign a cooperation agreement for 2015-2015 with Governor of Murmansk Oblast Marina Kovtun, the Murmansk regional government’s web site reads.

“Projects that are being implemented in Yamal and in Murmansk Oblast are of strategic importance for the country,” Kovtun said. “They are the concrete content of the Strategy for development of Russia’s Arctic zone,” she said at pointed out that after 2020 oil and gas from fields that have spent their resources will be displaced by hydrocarbons from the Arctic.

“We are both Arctic regions we have more or less the same climatic conditions, the same challenges and issues. We have to develop the Arctic, create the right conditions for it to give us something in return as soon as possible,” Kovtun said.

Agreement includes business and technology

The agreement covers cooperation within fields like trade and business, and science and technology, but also agriculture, healthcare and tourism.

Dmitry Kobylkin is head of a region that has huge incomes from oil and gas projects, both onshore and offshore. “With the opening of the port of Sabetta, we have started to “cut a window to Asia” for export of LNG to the Asian-Pacific region. I believe we have much in common, since Murmansk is the cradle of the opening of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route,”Kobylkin said.

Sabetta is part of the huge Yamal LNG project, developed by the JSC YamalLNG, a joint venture of Novatek (80%) and Total (20%).

The project includes a large LNG plant, capable of producing 16.5 million tons of LNG per year, and the Sabetta port, a joint initiative of the Novatek company and Russian federal authorities. The port will be one of the biggest in the Russian Arctic, and a key component in the development of the gas-rich Yamal Penisula. Linked with the South Tambey field and the LNG plant, the port will be built to handle more than 30 million tons of goods per year.

The South Tambey gas condensate field is estimated to hold about 1.25 trillion cubic meters of gas.

Related stories from around the North:

Asia:  China – Mining & housing in the Arctic, Cryopolitics

Canada:  The environmental and social impacts of Arctic tourism, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Asian tourists flock to Rovaniemi in Finland’s Arctic, Yle News

Greenland:  Air Greenland plans another summer of Iqaluit-Nuuk flights, CBC News

Iceland:  Flights to Iceland to start next March from Edmonton, Canada, CBC News

Norway: Ruble crash will have a huge negative impact on cross-border trade”, Barents Observer

Russia:  Russia requiring detailed travel itineraries from visitors, Barents Observer

Sweden: Air route links Norway, Sweden and Finland in Arctic, Barents Observer

United States: Warming may hurt and help tourism in Southeast Alaska, Alaska Dispatch


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