Development and the Environment"
on the Sakhalin Offshore Oil and Gas Fields II
Copyright (C) 1999 by Slavic
Research Center, Hokkaido University.
The Environmental Effects
All rights reserved
in the Angaro-Yenisei Region
- The exploitation and
development of energy resources in the Barents Sea has stimulated the
development of central Siberia's society, economy, industry, as well as
transport systems for the transfer of resources to markets. The
Angaro-Yenisei region, which covers the Yenisei River basin and
partially that of the Ob River's tributaries, together with rivers
flowing into the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea, is blessed with vast
natural resources. The region, however, has economic development
problems. Due to the region's fragile environmental conditions,
development should be encouraged in harmony with the environment and
the traditional life of the region's indigenous peoples. The region's
situation is similar to the Russian Far East with respect to
environmental and economic issues.
- Current and future projects for the Russian
North's development and their effects on the region's environment and
indigenous peoples will be briefly discussed.
- Oil production has
decreased substantially due to a drop in production efficiency.
Recovery of production in the energy sector is undoubtedly the key for
revival of the Russian economy with respect to fiscal revenue, earning
foreign currencies, stimulating other industries, and improving local
infrastructure and living standards. Preferential credit is now being
extended for converting military industries to promote the efficient
use of energy in wider energy markets. The European Energy Accord,
which aims to attract investment from foreign capital, was established
to invite international bids for licenses, with which foreign investors
are able to participate in the Russian oil industry.
- The transfer or transition of a formerly
planned economy into a market economy in Russia has turned out more
difficult than previously expected. Russia has been facing serious
problems such as reduced production and stagnant investment, mostly
because Russia has had little experience in market activities.
Particularly in central Siberia and the Russian Far East as well
(Miller & Karp, 1994), social and industrial activities in the
regions have remained at extremely low levels since the late 1980s. It
is therefore difficult to make reliable predictions about the
development of central Siberia or to carry out effective proposals.
Reliable data available for statistical analyses, particularly in
Japan, are less than satisfactory. For the moment, quantity should now
come before quality.
- Fortunately the
International Northern Sea Route Programme, INSROP, has been carried
out in cooperation with Russia, Japan and Norway, for six years since
1993 (Ostreng, 1999). The aim has been to address the main navigational
features of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) or North-East Passage
(Raurala, 1992) and assess the possibilities of using the route as a
prospective commercial seaway for international use. Through this
programme, various technical, social, environmental and political
issues have been reviewed. Some of the issues examined include: an
assessment of the cargo generating potential of central Siberia, the
NSR's environmental effects, effects on indigenous peoples' societies,
related political and legal ramifications, etc. The author is deeply
indebted to the INSROP Working Papers, reviewed and written mainly by