Russia: Tough times for Arctic oil region

Radar stations are under construction in the Russian district of Vorkuta and in the Arctic Murmansk region. (iStock)
Russia’s Nenets Autonomous Okrug in the Far North is increasingly struggling to follow up its budget obligations. (iStock)
Russia’s far northern Nenets Autonomous Okrug boosts debts to cope with a quickly growing deficit.

The oil-rich region located along the Arctic Ocean has enjoyed good times as Russia’s leading oil companies have rushed to invest in local fields and infrastructure. Now times might be turning for the region with a population of only 45000.

At least, the region is increasingly struggling to follow up its budget obligations. This year’s regional budget will have a deficit of almost 20 percent.

While revenues are estimated to 15.9 billion, expenditure will be 19,6 billion, regional news site informs.

Loan secured

At the same time, the government in Naryan-Mar, the regional capital, is quickly filling up the gaps with new credits. In a deal with VTB, the leading Russian bank, the region secures a second 500 million ruble loan this year.

”We are confident that the financial support from the bank allows the regional government to follow up its plans for social and economic development the full extent”, bank representative Ruslan Yeremenko told newspaper Biznes Klass.

At the same time, the Nenets AO remains the region in Northwest Russia with the highest salaries and highest GDP per capita. Figures from Patchwork Barents, the regional dataportal, show that the Nenets AO in 2014 had an average monthly per capita income of $1740.  Per capita GDP figures in 2012 amounted to $124.500, among the highest in all of Russia .

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Metal, mineral price drop affecting Canada’s North, Eye on the Arctic

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

Finland:  Finland trims economic growth forecast, Yle News

Iceland:  Calls for action at Arctic shipping conference, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway:  New pipeline connects Arctic with Europe, Barents Observer

Russia: China to provide parts for Russian offshore projects, Barents Observer

Sweden: Government to form council of researchers for sustainable development, Radio Sweden

United States: Shell’s failure latest in series of Arctic flops, Alaska Dispatch News

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