The extraction of oil in the Arctic offshore zone will be profitable if the oil price is at $70-100 per barrel, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on the sidelines of the Arctic – Territory of Dialogue forum.

“We proceed from the fact that our oil and gas companies specify the order of prices when it is economically profitable and effective (to work in the offshore zone) – it is from 70 to 100 dollars,” Novak said.

Russia is producing 93 mln tonnes of oil the Arctic annually and this figure is growing year on year, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday at the International Arctic Forum.

“Russia is currently producing almost 100 mln tonnes – 93 mln tonnes, to be exact – of oil in the Arctic zone, accounting for 17%. This figure is growing year on year; it was 13% of our [total] production just five years ago,” Novak said.

Russia’s main gas reserves are also situated in the Arctic region, the minister said. “90% are produced in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. Total gas production there was 519 bln cubic meters last year,” Novak added.

Earlier the Russian government decided to impose a temporary moratorium on issue of licenses for the development of fields located in Russia’s Arctic offshore zone.

OPEC deal

Novak expects that OPEC’s recommendation to extend the agreement on oil production reduction will be received in late April.

“We expect that the data will be received in a month, at the end of April, and we will discuss the relevant recommendations at a ministerial meeting,” Novak said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel during the International Forum “Arctic – Territory of Dialogue”.

The minister stressed that thanks to the agreement on reduction of production, the balance in the oil market can be achieved one month earlier than it was expected.

On March 25-26, the committee for monitoring of oil production by OPEC and non-OPEC countries participating in the production reduction agreement held a meeting in Kuwait.