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Russia Boosts Shelf Exploration for Oil and Gas Resources

Russia is boosting exploration for oil, gas, and minerals on its continental shelf as it has launched the first comprehensive geological and drilling studies in 30 years, according to its Federal Agency for Mineral Resources.

The agency, also known as Rosnedra, operates 190 sites nationwide between Kaliningrad and Russia’s Far East, with projects ranging from deep drilling for oil and gas to geophysical exploration of solid minerals by drones, the head of the agency Yevgeny Petrov told Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in a meeting.

“For the first time in 30 years, we have taken a systemic approach to shelf exploration, begun working on the shelf, and drilled four wells. These are truly significant geological results,” Petrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Interfax.  

“The fundamental geological task of evaluating the basins' oil and gas reserves has been accomplished,” the official added.

Oil and gas volumes that have been added to resources increased by 20% in 2023 compared to 2022, he noted.

“Despite the foreign media claims about stagnation in our mining and geological prospecting sector, I can say that the sector is growing steadily and there is no decline in funding, first and foremost by mineral developers,” Petrov was quoted as saying.

Russia is now on its own in exploration after nearly all Western companies abandoned Russian operations following the invasion of Ukraine.

One notable exception is SLB, the biggest oilfield services firm in the world, which doesn’t plan to quit Russia, chief executive Olivier Le Peuch told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.   

Pressure has mounted on companies, especially in the oil and gas industry, to withdraw from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“When we decide, we will make it public if we need to. But now, there is no decision yet,” SLB’s Le Peuch told FT. 

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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