Feb. 2013 The website is suspended until further notice. I am currently too busy working, among other things, on a documentary on the Arctic. I hope to resume it soon but in the meantime, please feel free to get in touch at olivier (at) arctic-wells.com. 

Jan. 28 Russian oil company Rosneft has secured another 12 licences to explore areas of the Russian continental shelf, deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich said, according to RIA Novosti. Under existing legislation, only Russian state-controlled companies Rosneft and Gazprom can be granted offshore licences, despite the intense lobbying of Lukoil, Russian largest independent oil producer.  

Jan. 24 Russia will submit its final Arctic territorial claim to the UN by the end of this year, said Artur Chilingarov, to the Moscow Times. The Arctic sientist and explorer led the expedition which planted a Russian flag on the North Pole’s seabed in 2007. The claim, if approved, would add 1.2 million square kilometers of exclusive economic zone on Russia's continental shelf.  
Jan. 26 Greenpeace activists occupied a Shell petrol station in the Swiss resort of Davos during the World Economic Forum, to protest against the company’s exploration campaign offshore Alaska. A fake polar bear and a banner with the words «Arctic oil – Too risky» were displayed. Shell launched a legal action against Greenpeace in Amsterdam last September, after similar protest actions from the NGO in the Netherlands.

Jan. 23 Gazprom may loose its gas export monopoly, according to Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. “It is possible, because there are other, independent gas producers. But we mustn’t lose money,” he said on Bloomberg TV. Novatek, Russia’s largest independent producer, is now pushing for the right to sell the future production of liquefied natural gas from its Yamal LNG project.  

Jan. 11 Russian companies Novatek and Gazprom have struck a deal to create a joint venture to increase LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) production on the Yamal Peninsula. The goal is to reach over 30 million tonnes per year, doubling the production planned at the Yamal’s LNG project, on which Novatek partners with Total, Reuters reports. Putin has urged Gazprom to develop its LNG exports towards Asia instead of Europe.
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