For several decades high prices of oil and gas have been a major driving force for Russia's economic growth and state prosperity. During this period the state mostly relied on natural resources production in West Siberia. Today the Russian economy is still very dependent on the energy sector, however the traditional areas of energy production cannot satisfy the demand any longer and the state is facing a challenge of finding a new energy supply area. Arctic offshore resources represent an alternative energy supply; however severe climate conditions, environmental risks and high production costs make offshore exploration less attractive. This article examines different approaches and interests of the Russian state and businesses towards the offshore exploration in the region. Convergences and divergences in the stances are discussed, providing an outline for the future development of the Russian energy sector with relation to the on-going international energy market development.
Nadezda Filimonova is the International Relations Specialist at the Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Russia.