Siberian shale find fuels Russia’s fracking future

by
February 19, 2014

Russia is showing the world that it does things in a big way at the Sochi Olympics. Now, at the opposite end of the vast country, Russia is aiming to be the next big player in the global shale oil revolution.

With the world’s largest reserves of shale oil locked in underground formations sprawling across Russia’s vast Siberian wilderness, the Eurasian giant — already a top world oil producer — has the most potential of any country to rival or surpass the United States in shale production in coming years.

Estimates of the amount of shale oil trapped in the Bazhenov formation in western Siberia alone range up to 2 trillion barrels, of which 22 billion to 360 billion barrels is recoverable today using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies developed by U.S. producers.

Those resources could far surpass Saudi Arabia’s legendary oil treasures and are at least as prolific as the Bakken formation in North Dakota that is feeding the boom in shale oil production in the U.S.

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