By 2008, Cargo Turnover on Arctic Route May Grow Five-Fold

By 2008, cargo turnover on Arctic Route may grow five-fold. Such is the forecast made by Vyacheslav Ruksha, the First Deputy Minister of Transportation of Russia and the head of the State Maritime Service, in a conversation with a Rosbalt reporter during the conference commemorating the 70 years since the opening of the Arctic Sea Route. Mr. Ruksha said that, at present, annual cargo turnover on the Arctic Sea Route was 1.5 million tonnes, of which 1.2 million tonnes was the share of the Norilsk Nickel company.

The deputy minister noted that 10 or 12 years ago 6 to 7 million tonnes of cargoes had been transported over the Arctic Route. However, according to him, a considerable part of that was transported at no profit or at a loss, so there was no reason to grieve over the decrease. The deputy minister believes that the most promising, where the Arctic Sea Route is concerned, is the development of the Timan-Pechora oilfields, those in the Yamal Peninsula, and in the basins of the Ob and Enisey Rivers. Even now the administration of the route is cooperating with such gas and oil companies as Gazprom,LUKoil and YUKOS.