• 1 hour Oil Prices Inch Higher After Surprise Crude Draw
  • 2 hours Kuwait Greenlights Game-Changing Gas Fields Project After Years of Delay
  • 2 hours Minnesota Begins Public Hearings On Enbridge Line 3 Project
  • 3 hours China Looks To Create National Natural Gas Pipeline Firm
  • 3 hours Total Not In A Rush To Sell Canadian Oil Sands Assets
  • 4 hours DOE Seeks To Boost Usage Of Carbon Capture Tech
  • 5 hours Taxpayers Likely To Pick Up The Growing Tab For DAPL Protests
  • 7 hours WTI At 7-Month High On Supply Optimism, Kurdistan Referendum
  • 14 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 19 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 23 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 1 day Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 1 day Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 1 day U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 1 day Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 4 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 5 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 5 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 6 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 6 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
The Race For The “Holy Grail” Of Renewables

The Race For The “Holy Grail” Of Renewables

Energy storage is becoming an…

5 Big Gainers In Oil & Gas This Week

5 Big Gainers In Oil & Gas This Week

Energy stocks have been among…

Is the Siberian Oilfield to be Developed by China and Russia Radioactive?

There is a chance that the deal between Rosneft and CNPC to jointly develop a giant oilfield in Siberia may be tainted. I’m not talking about the corruption or illegal activities of one party, but rather the potential that the hydrocarbons in the field may be contaminated.

During the 1970s and 1980s several underground nuclear blasts were carried out at the Srednebotuobinskoye oilfield in an attempt to increase flow rates from the rock, and even create a storage reservoir.

An official report published by the environment ministry of the Republic of Sakha, in Eastern Siberia, described the blasts, and claimed that the oilfield is safe from nuclear contamination; but environmentalists are doubtful.

Related article: China’s Insatiable Hunger for Energy Resources

Recently, as part of President Vladimir Putin’s strategy to move Russia’s energy export market away from dependence on the stagnating European market, and towards the growing demand developing in Asia, Rosneft signed a memorandum to create a joint venture with CNPC, to develop the one billion barrel oil field in Siberia.

It is unknown if Rosneft was itself aware of the potential contamination of the oil, or if they were, whether they informed CNPC.

Nikolai Gudkov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Natural Resources in Moscow, told Reuters that “we analyse all the risks, including radioactive ones. If a field has been allocated for development, that means we consider there to be no risks.”

However Vladimir Chuprov, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Russia, explained that “any nuclear explosion resembles what happens in a reactor - and the blasts at Chernobyl and Fukushima. The results are the same: the emission of radionuclides, including strontium-90 and caesium. There is a risk that the oil will be contaminated.”

Operation Plowshare

During the Soviet era, and the beginning of the nuclear age, using nuclear bombs for industrial purposes was not uncommon, even in the US where Operation Plowshare attempted to unlock natural gas deposits using nuclear blasts. The practice was only ended after some incidents in which the radioactive nuclides escaped.

Victor Repin, from the St. Petersburg Institute of Radioactive Hygiene, stated “humankind has little experience with deposits where nuclear explosions were carried out.” Eight explosions were set off in the region of the oilfield, of which two went awry. “In one explosion, radioactive materials leaked out,” and the area had to be buried in earth in order to make it safe.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News