China to provide parts for Russian offshore projects

Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi listens to proceedings during the opening of the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting Friday, April 24, 2015 in Iqaluit, Nunavut. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi (pictured above at an Arctic Council gathering in Iqaluit, Nunavut in April 2015) says sanctions imposed by western countries have had a positive effect on Russian industry. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
Chinese companies will provide a lion’s share of the technology needed for Russian offshore energy projects, the government plans.

In an interview with newspaper Vedomosti, Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy confirms that Chinese companies will be given a key role in the development of the Russian Arctic shelf.

”China can on a massive scale and sufficiently quickly produce the equipment needed”, Donskoy says. He admits that parts of the Chinese equipment are copies of analogue components made elsewhere.

However, Donskoy stresses that the Chinese companies will have to produce the technology in Russia.

”Russia will develop cooperation with Chinese companies, but the equipment must be produced here, in Russia, with domestic capacities”, the minister says to Vedomosti.

Sanctions have ‘positive effect’

Donskoy also argues that the sanctions imposed by western countries also has a positive effect on the Russian industry. ”As a matter of fact, this gives us an opportunity to implement the shelf projects the way they orginally were planned; as a strategic project which has synergetic effects in the territorial development of the Arctic”, he says.

As previously reported, as much as 68 percent of the technical equipment needed by the Russian offshore oil and gas industry is now subjected to sanctions and consequently out of reach for the Russian drillmen.

Russia today has offshore production off Sakhalin in the Russian far east and at the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea. In the latter project, Russian-made equipment accounts for an estimated 10 percent of the platform construction.

When it comes to shelf exploration, Russia produces less than one percent of the equipment needed.

Related stories from around the North:

Denmark:  Faroe Islands cashing in on Russian sanctions, Barents Observer

Finland:  “Cold war looming, sanctions our best bet,” says Finland’s PM, Yle News

Norway:  Russian sanctions hit Norway hard, Barents Observer

Russia:  Sanctions menace offshore oil security says Russia, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Sweden’s dairy farmers hit hard by sanctions against Russia, Radio Sweden

United States:  New US sanctions against Russian oil, Barents Observer

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