The pair’s Russia-based joint venture Salym Petroleum Development said it had started drilling the first of five pilot horizontal wells this year and next year.
SPD said it plans multi-stage fractures of all five wells in Upper Salym, West Siberia in a bid to tap shale oil potential in the prospective Bazhenov formation.
Chief executive Oleg Karpushin said he hoped the pilot programme would lead to a decision to mount large-scale development of shale oil potential in Upper Salym.
One of the world’s largest known shale oil deposits, the Bazhenov formation in West Siberia could hold technically recoverable shale oil resources of 74.6 billion barrels, according to a US Energy Information Administration estimate.
Russia’s government has introduced tax breaks to incentivise exploration of the Bazhenov and other shale plays.
*Bill Lehane, Upstreamonline