Vast shale oil deposits in Siberia

While oil from Siberia is nothing new the vast shale resources in the Bazhenov – containing oil and gas – have yet to be exploited. But fracking technology to extract these is now available. The West Siberian basin is the largest petroleum basin in the world.

Bazhenov basin Western Siberia

The shale in Western Siberia also contains large amounts of gas. Shale gas and oil are already flowing in the US, the shale gas potential in China and India is being explored and developed and now vast reserves of  oil and gas are available from shale deposits in Russia. Europe also has large deposits of shale gas but are dithering under the influence of alarmist environmentalism. They will have little choice but to join the brave new world of shale – or be left far behind.

Forbes reports:

Everyone has heard about the Bakken shale, the huge expanse of oil-bearing rock underneath North Dakota and Montana that billionaire Harold Hamm thinks could yield 24 billion barrels of oil in the decades to come. The Bakken is a huge boon, both to the economic health of the northern Plains states, but also to the petroleum balance of the United States. From just 60,000 barrels per day five years ago, the Bakken is now giving up 500,000 bpd, with 210,000 bpd of that coming on in just the past year. Given the availability of enough rigs to drill it and crews to frack it, there’s no reason why the Bakken couldn’t be producing more than 1 million bpd by the end of the decade, a level that could be maintained for halfway through the century.

But as great as the Bakken is, I learned last week about another oil shale play that dwarfs it. It’s called The Bazhenov. It’s in Western Siberia, in Russia. And while the Bakken is big, the Bazhenov — according to a report last week by Sanford Bernstein’s lead international oil analyst Oswald Clint — “covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined.” This is 80 times bigger than the Bakken.

Getting access to the Bazhenov appears to be a key element in both ExxonMobil and Statoil‘s big new joint ventures with Kremlin-controlled Rosneft. Exxon’s recent statement says the two companies have agreed “to jointly develop tight oil production technologies in Western Siberia.”

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