August 30, 2012
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№ 6 (June 2012)

RPGC Gas Day in Moscow: Russia has Shale Gas, Too

The recent breakthroughs in economically effective technologies for producing shale gas have made the USA a potentially significant supplier of natural gas. "The example of the United States showed all suppliers of natural gas that they can expect stiff competition on the market", Energy Strategies Institute council member Aleksey Mastepanov told delegates at the 10th Russian Petroleum and Gas Congress in Moscow today.

By Elena Zhuk

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Mastepanov said that production expenses were now lower and that had allowed the Americans to "occupy the niche". Mastepanov said he believed that the solution for Russian suppliers of natural gas was to employ new technologies to lower costs on the transport of gas to end consumers.

Gazprom representative Sergey Balashov said that data presented during RPGC showed that companies' largest share of costs for capital repairs and construction was spent on transportation and storage facilities.

Professor Valeriy Zolotukhin of the Oil and Gas University said that Europe and the Asia-Pacific Rim were the most prospective regions for supplying Russian gas. Commenting on "fashionable" shale gas, Zolotukhin said Rusisa had at least as much of the resource as the Untied States — 200 trillion cubic meters, or about as much as 80 Shtokman reserves. H said that if the need arose, shale gas could be produced in Russia as well.

Still, he said that it appeared that shale gas production in Russia would be left to future generations. In the near-term, Gazprom was placing its chips on the shelf and in East Siberia.

Deputy Gazprom VNIIGAZ General Director Dmitriy Lyugoy said that Yakutsk, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, with their reserves of about 5 trillion cubic meters of gas would be the main resource base for supplies to the Asia-PAcific Rim. These reserves, he said, could provide up to 70 billion cubic meters of gas a year through 2020. East Siberia gas is noted for its high helium content — from 0.2-0.6 per cent and this could help Russia become a world leader in helium production as well, he said.
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