Russia Touts Unconventional Gas Promise

January 2, 2013

Natural Gas Europe, citing Gazprom officials, reports that Russia may have up to 2 1/2 times more unconventional gas resources than conventional supplies.

The country may hold as much as 680 trillion cubic meters of unconventional resources, which include gas from shale, sandstones and coal beds, Viktor Skorobogatov, director of the gas resources center at Gazprom’s VNIIGAZ research unit, said in an interview in the company’s corporate magazine.

“No country in the world can compete with Russia in terms of the volume of natural-gas reserves and its vast resource potential in both traditional and unconventional,” commented Skorobogatov. Russia’s conventional gas resources total at least 250 trillion cubic meters, out of a global total of 600 trillion to 650 trillion cubic meters, he said.

According to Natural Gas Europe, Skorobogatov said that Russia’s shale-gas resources are estimated at about 5 trillion to 20 trillion cubic meters. Hydrates account for about 75 percent of all the nation’s unconventional resources, or 500 trillion cubic meters, followed by tight gas at 110 trillion cubic meters and coal-bed methane at 50 trillion cubic meters, he said.

As much as 90 percent of Russia’s unconventional resources are located in the east, mainly in the Urals and Siberia, according to Skorobogatov. Coal-bed methane and tight-gas ventures, already under development as pilot projects, may start producing after 2020, while development of hydrates and shale won’t start before 2025 or 2030, he said.

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