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As a simplified procedure for the exploration of hydrocarbons should intensify subsoil use

For the oil and gas sectors, the “declarative” principle of obtaining rights to use exploration sites has earned - without competition, although not without some restrictions. Such a scheme, according to the Ministry of Environment, has previously proved effective in the case of solid minerals. Whether all the problems of geological exploration in the Far East are solved by the introduction of a new principle, EastRussia understood.

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The Ministry of Natural Resources for the first time announced plans to use the application principle for the distribution of poorly studied hydrocarbon deposits back in March 2016. The Office took almost a year to agree on the text of the relevant order with the FAS and the Ministry of Economic Development. Last year, Minister Sergei Donskoy said that expanding the application of the declarative principle would compensate for the decline in investment in geological exploration related to the macroeconomic situation: "We forecast an increase in investments in the search for deposits. According to experts, in five years it will increase by 30% from today's level. "

The new order was approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources in January. It presupposes the provision of subsoil blocks to companies without auctions and tenders, that is, by applications. Prior to this, subsoil users could obtain a license for geological prospecting on unexplored hydrocarbon sites only after they submitted an application for inclusion of the site in the list. However, this did not guarantee obtaining a license, since several companies could apply for the sites on the list at once.

Since 2014, the application procedure is valid for solid minerals. The head of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Sergey Donskoy, calculated that due to the use of the declarative principle for mineral resources with solid mineral resources, Russia's relative share in global investments in geological exploration in the 2013-2015 years more than doubled. In 2015, the interim head of Rosnedra, Yevgeny Kiselev, stated that after the introduction of the declarative principle, in the next three to four years, the inflow of investment in exploration under the licenses issued will reach 10 billion rubles at current prices. In the 2015, in the Far East, where the largest and most complex projects are being implemented, geological exploration for solid minerals under 518 licenses was carried out using extrabudgetary funds. "The main goal is to attract private investment in the search for deposits," said Nikolai Gudkov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Environment.

Analyst GC "Finam" Alexei Kalachev explained EastRussia, that innovation is associated with a change in the order of consideration of applications. In particular, the declarative principle of granting the right to use subsoil plots has been introduced in relation to areas for which there are no data on the presence of reserves or forecast resources of hydrocarbons. "I think the areas provided for exploration, including in Yakutia, are enough for oil and gas companies at 2017 a year," he says. Naturally, in order to avoid completely uncontrolled “self-trapping” of plots, certain restrictions are introduced: no more than three subsoil plots with an area of ​​no more than 100 square. km - for solid minerals, not more than three subsoil plots with an area of ​​no more than 500 square. km - for hydrocarbons, provided that within the two years preceding the filing date of the corresponding application there were no violations of the terms of subsoil use under licenses previously obtained by them in a declarative procedure. In addition, we can talk only about the subsoil areas where there are no confirmed reserves and they are not being explored by the state or other subsoil users.

A representative of Rosneft, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the declarative principle on the example of solid minerals showed a very good increase. "People are very averse to taking what is simply given. This simplification of legislation, the attraction of small and medium capital. In fact, in terms of capital costs, development is quite expensive, not all are ready to take up the development, therefore, such an industry-wide incentive is introduced. This is a smart example of changing legislation, which was not used before, "he said. According to him, now even those who were previously far from oil and gas developments can be guaranteed to receive land plots.

Leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, lecturer of the Financial University under the government of the Russian Federation Igor Yushkov believes that the infrastructure is poorly developed in the Far Eastern Federal District, so getting a license for oil and gas production is only a small part of the operators' concern. It is also necessary to build an oil pipeline, a gas pipeline, a railway or an automobile road, create power generating facilities there, while the study of the Far East is extremely low. "Therefore, the state may simply not be in the unallocated fund of such deposits that would be of interest to investors: deposits with large reserves are needed so that they pay off after the construction of infrastructure." In Yakutia, only Gazprom, an oil rim from the Chayandinskoye field, will work in the near future Respectively, gas production at the same site, "- he said in a conversation with EastRussia.

According to the expert, the state is ready to practice the declarative principle, since there is no money to explore the depths of its own. "Therefore, it allows companies to try their luck, but as a rule, projects that can be submitted for application are extremely risky, and chances to find a large field are rather small." As the geological knowledge is low in the Far East, the state tries to correct the situation with new rules, " Igor Yushkov.

Vyacheslav Kulagin, Director of the Center for the Study of World Energy Markets of the Institute of Energy and Energy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, emphasizes that the declarative principle for hydrocarbons is a good step towards partial removal of regulatory functions from the state, and in this case it is expected that this will lead to an increase in investment. Andrei Ivanov, executive director of the public organization "Green Arctic", agrees: the declarative principle is, first of all, the solution of a systemic task for the country to enhance geological exploration. "It is constantly discussed that we have insufficient geological exploration activity. And just due to the implementation of this principle in hydrocarbons, it turns out that the gate is opening gradually. This solves the problem of the influx of new funds into exploration and search, this is the way to create pioneer companies," he.

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