Rosnedra Ventures into Shelf Exploration

Photo: Offshore Arctic platform "Prirazlomnaya"

Rosnedra, the Russian Federal Agency for Mineral Resources, has commenced drilling operations on Russia's continental shelf. The initial geological data from these offshore regions are helping geologists fill in the blanks on the country's map and update information regarding the oil and gas potential of the shelf basins. This work marks the first of its kind in the last 30 years.

In 2023, federal budget funds allocated resources of 1.4 billion tons of oil and 1.6 trillion cubic meters of gas in the state balance. The increase in hydrocarbon reserves is 20% higher than the previous year, with 43 oil and gas fields discovered.

Geological surveying of solid minerals also yielded high results, with 168 deposits identified in the past year, primarily in the noble metals sector, including 142 gold deposits.

Rosnedra reveals oil and gas reserves

"Russia is currently endowed with oil reserves for the next 60 years, while its gas resources are projected to last for over 100 years. However, the sustainability period fluctuates annually due to market dynamics and technological advancements. At present, major discoveries of large or giant oil fields on land are unlikely. Significant findings are anticipated on the shelf, but economic factors come into play," commented Yevgeny Petrov, head of the Federal Agency for Mineral Resources.

Meanwhile, Russia boasts abundant shale oil resources, estimated to last for decades. Just five years ago, these resources were estimated at 976 billion tons of geological reserves and 34 billion tons of recoverable reserves.

Currently, around 750 million tons of hard-to-recover reserves have been placed on the state balance sheet. Their inclusion indicates that technologies for their profitable extraction already exist. With modern technologies and infrastructure, their development becomes economically viable.

"Domestic companies are actively pursuing this direction today," Petrov remarked. "Technologies are advancing, making extraction more cost-effective. Technological test sites have been established as a new form of licensing. The Russian government has provided companies with incentives. For example, Paleozoic deposits were previously overlooked, but now companies are actively involved in exploring these formations," commented the head of Rosnedra on the situation.