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Shale revolution a la Russe: Shell, Gazprom Neft start fracking in Siberia

Published time: January 14, 2014 15:33
RIA Novosti / George Granin

RIA Novosti / George Granin

Shell and Gazprom Neft have started testing the shale potential of the Bazhenov formation in Russia’s Western Siberia. It's known to be one of world’s largest gas deposits.

The venture between Shell and Gazprom Neft called the Salym Petroleum Development has started drilling the first horizontal appraisal well in Upper Salym. It’s part of a pilot project which will need a further five horizontal appraisal wells within the next two years using multi-fracturing technology, says a company statement.

The Bazhenov development is an important element of our growth strategy,” Oleg Karpushin, the chief executive of the Salym Petroleum Development, said in the statement. “We hope the pilot project will allow us and our shareholders to make a decision about moving to a large-scale development of the Bazhenov formation in the Salym fields.

The Bazhenov field has attracted foreign oil giants like Shell and Exxon due to its similarity to the Bakken shale field in the US. Advances in drilling technology created a production boom there, says Bloomberg.

This is a big thing for Russia,” said Ildar Davletshin, an oil and gas analyst at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. “Bazhenov holds as much resources as has been produced in Russia to date. The question is what portion of it can be recovered and at what cost.”

Exxon and another Russian energy major Rosneft will also start a $300 million pilot project drilling in a different part of the Bazhenov field this year.

In April 2013 Gazprom Neft and Shell signed a memorandum of intent to jointly explore and develop shale oil and Arctic offshore projects in Russia.

Then it was reported that the parties will create a joint enterprise which will be engaged in new projects and investigate the development of shale oil deposits in the territory of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area.

Comments (11)


Johan Krüger Haglert 17.04.2014 09:44

tateishi 14.01.2014 18:49

It is a dissapointment if the projects go ahead, although Siberia is so big area to affect people living there, but still it produces dirty water which can not be re-used:too contaminated. Also in the future, water may become more precious commodity.


Ye ah. The trade off in the US seem to be a pretty stupid one.

A little cheap nasty oil and gas right now vs fresh water forever. They are already depleating their water so they should take better care of it rather than poisoning it.

Privati ze the profits - Socialize the costs ..

Short term gain vs forever loss.


Johan Krüger Haglert 17.04.2014 09:41

Sure cheap energy will always (?) be appreciated. But the car industry seem to be moving in the direction of electric cars or possibly hydrogen gas powered but that will likely be made using electricity too.

Many countries like China, Germany and Denmark seem to be trying to develop towards renewable energy instead.

Wh ere I live the focus on that have been less likely because a huge majority of the energy produced here is hydro or nuclear power. But supposedly there's a plan to build a park of 1101 wind "mills" here too.

I wonder how the nature will look where all will be located though.


Johan Krüger Haglert 17.04.2014 09:33

Why not use nuclear plants instead?

No w I guess this may be currently low inhabited areas and maybe people don't care as much about polution but at least with coal it's supposed to release quite a bit of radioactive waste that too and with all fossile fuels you've got the environmental impact and with fracking both using fresh water and poluting fresh water and whatever possible other consequences.

Why not just build better nuclear plants instead?

View all comments (11)
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