Hydrocarbon prospecting and production is an area of strategic importance for the commercial development of the Arctic, given the huge potential of the basins of the continental shelf. It is an also an area which comes with a high degree of economic risk, but is nevertheless crucial for replenishing the nations natural resource base and for the development of the Arctic. The development of offshore fields in the Arctic requires new technology and equipment, as well as geological prospecting work. All this translates to a significant investment of time and money. It therefore depends on close collaboration between extraction companies in Russia and international partners. The situation is complicated by the fact that various companies are in need of essentially unique technological solutions. What barriers are hindering the development of the shelf, and how feasible is it to remove them? What incentives could be put in place for the private sector to become more involved in geological prospecting work on the shelf?