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Hemscott: Shell says Russia’s offshore reserves need foreign energy majors

MOSCOW (Thomson Financial) – Royal Dutch Shell said Russia needs foreign expertise and investment if it is to profit fully from offshore oil and gas reserves estimated to be seven times larger than those in the North Sea.

‘If Russia is to develop its extraordinary resource base it will need cooperation,’ Chris Finlayson, Russia director for the British-Dutch energy giant, told investors at a conference in Moscow.

‘There is room here for foreign oil players as well as Russian oil companies, while meeting the models of cooperation and control which the Russian government wishes to use,’ Finlayson said.

‘We estimate that the productive areas of the Russian shelf are the equivalent of seven North Seas. That is the scale of the challenge that is out there. That is why we believe there is opportunity for all,’ Finlayson said.

Since being pressured by the Russian government last year to selling a major stake in the Sakhalin-2 project, Shell has emphasised that it will not only stay in Russia but also expand its business there.

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