The infrastructure and economy of oil and gas development in the Arctic shelf is the subject of discussion at the conference 'Oil and Gas in the Arctic Shelf'. A Rosbalt correspondent was told by a member of the expert council of the Russian government, Georgy Hizh, that 'Russia is now in a position to dramatically increase its activity in oil and gas prospecting and extraction.' In his opinion 'billions of tonnes of oil are enough to turn the Murmansk Region into the Arab Emirates.' He also said 'Norway discovered an offshore deposit of oil at the same time as Russia and over the last 20 years Norway has become the most prosperous country in Europe. Russia has failed to prosper due to the lack of investment.'
270 people are taking part at the conference including scientists and representatives of Russian and foreign oil and gas companies. The Russian Minister of Natural Resources Ivan Glumov told Rosbalt that most of the ministerial officials who were invited along with directors of oil-extracting companies did not come because they are currently in Norway with President Putin.