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Gazprom Launches Controversial Arctic Oil Field

By The Maritime Executive 12-20-2013 11:40:00

Russia's first Arctic offshore field Prirazlomnoye, which has faced a stiff resistance from green activists, has started production of oil, Russia's energy company Gazprom said on Friday.

"We became the pioneers of Russia's Arctic development," Gazprom's Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said in a statement.

Prirazlomnoye, located in the Pechora Sea, 60 km (40 miles) from the coast, was the site of a Greenpeace protest in September. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Arctic offshore riches are of a strategic importance for the country.

Russia, the world's largest country and its second biggest oil exporter, is vying with Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States for control of the oil, gas and precious metals that would become more accessible if global warming shrinks the Arctic ice cap.