By James Marson
MOSCOW--Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Thursday ordered the government's shelf-development program to be reworked in order to attract private oil and gas companies to develop the country's vast, but mostly untapped, energy resources in the Arctic.
At a government meeting broadcast live on television, Mr Medvedev instructed a working group, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, to report back with a finalized program in three months.
Russia needs to attract money and expertise to develop its deposits on the Arctic shelf. Russian companies including TNK-BP (TNBP.RS) and Lukoil Holdings (LKOH.RS) have expressed an interest in developing the shelf in partnership with state companies.
Russia's state-owned OAO Rosneft (ROSN.RS) has in recent months signed long-term deals with Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Eni SpA (E) and Statoil ASA (STO) to develop offshore oil and gas reserves.
Russia plans increase its continental shelf natural-gas production, to 230 billion cubic meters by 2030 from a current 57 billion cubic meters, while shelf oil production is expected to increase to 66.2 million metric tons from 13 million tons, Medvedev said.
-Ira Iosebashvili and Alexander Kolyandr contributed to this item.
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