Lukoil has again applied for the Nadezhda subsoil plot located in the Baltic Sea, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation confirmed to journalists.
“The application of Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft LLC for the Nadezhda subsoil block in the Baltic Sea was submitted during the “winter window,” the ministry said. The application package will be opened at the end of the “window” on February 1, 2023.
Earlier on Monday, the Kommersant newspaper reported, citing sources, that Lukoil had again applied for a license to use the Nadezhda block, which it had been denied in October.
The company has been trying to obtain a license for this site since 2016. Then she proposed to the government to arrange an auction for “Nadezhda” – a site of federal significance, with special requirements: the applicant must be registered in the Kaliningrad region and have experience in developing deposits there. But the FAS considered that only Lukoil itself met the proposed requirements, and the auction was never held.
Then the company applied for a geological study in accordance with the government decree of September 14, 2020, which determines the procedure for considering applications for sites in inland sea waters. Despite the fact that the Ministry of Natural Resources initially checked the project so that the borders of Nadezhda did not overlap with specially protected natural areas, the government, the newspaper writes, had questions regarding the impact on the Curonian Spit National Park. Lukoil tried to prove that the development of the site would not harm the environment.
In the fall of 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers nevertheless refused to obtain a license for Lukoil, and the Ministry of Natural Resources offered him to re-send the application to Rosnedra, providing justifying materials and adjusting the boundaries of the site so that they do not overlap with the Curonian Spit buffer zone. At the same time, the newspaper adds, the ministry itself officially established the boundaries of the national park’s buffer zone only in September 2022.
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