Reducing efficiency of the Arctic exploration and exploitation is due to lack of knowledge in the region’s geology, claimed SPbU Vice-Rector for Research. Doctor of Geology and Mineralogy Sergey Aplonov. Vast company expenses, mostly due to insufficient information abot the regions’ geology, make exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources of less than 200 mln tons unprofitable.

As an example the expert draws on the Shell’s experience: exploration and exploitation in the Chukchee Sea cost approximately $8 bln. “The outcomes were far too modest. If we are to cover so vast expenses, only giant fields, with oil and gas resources of more than 200 mln tons, would earn the profit. The Russian shelf, yet to be studied, is therefore a higher hurdle to overcome”, — said Sergey Aplonov.

Geology of the region, to his mind, is still little investigated. “Scientifically, we have not so far got the whole picture of what oil and gas recourses the Arctic Ocean has, and the Arctic, eastward of the Laptev Sea, remains a geological gap on the map”, — said the expert.

This is due to geopolitical interests, severe climate, and companies unwilling to leave more developed fields that suppress the study of the Arctic, added Sergey Aplonov.

“Efficient exploration of the Arctic is only possible if we establish a close cooperation between businesses, science and governments on a global scale, — said the expert. — It is no coincidence that this year a cooperative network of more than 180 universities, colleges, research institutes and other organisations concerned with education and research in and about the Arctic has arranged the UArctic Congress, the biggest ever scientific event, throughout the history of the region’s exploration, at St Petersburg University.  Today, there is a demand for a deeper understating of the region, experts in the Arctic and cutting-edge technologies, which opens up unprecedented opportunities and significantly boosts the efficiency in the Arctic exploration».

Although the oil and gas fields have tendency to become more exhausted, deeper and more difficult to explore and exploit, we nevertheless constantly come up with new technologies for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources, gain a deeper insight into oil genesis, migration and accumulation. All the current exploration and exploitation projects were initially unprofitable, yet today, with the advent of new technologies, they have gained momentum.

How to boost profitability of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the Arctic was discussed by the world’s leading experts during the first UArctic Congress 2016, which was held in St Petersburg University, September 12-16.