Russia Taps Mega Arctic Gas Field
MOSCOW — Russia’s energy giant Gazprom launched production on Tuesday at one of the world’s largest natural gas fields originally discovered some 40 years ago in the frozen and hitherto inaccessible Arctic.
In a live-link up from Moscow, President Vladimir Putin formally pushed the button on the start of commercial production at the Arctic deposit whose discovery by the Soviets in the early 1970s created excitement and frustration in equal measure.
The Bovanenkovo field on the Yamal peninsula in extreme northwestern Siberia has what Gazprom estimates to be 4.9 trillion cubic metres (177 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas — making it one of the world’s three largest deposits.
But it also lies amid permafrost and had long remained cut-off from access to pipelines or even basic communication.
“The field will produce 115 billion cubic metres (4,060 billion cubic feet) of gas and that will go up to nearly 140 billion,” Putin told the field’s workers by live video.
“This is nearly the equivalent of how much we export to Europe,” Putin stressed.
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