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Shell May Seek to Develop Unconventional Gas Fields in Russia


By Stephen Bierman – Sep 24, 2010

Royal Dutch Shell Plc may seek to develop coal-bed methane in Siberian Russia after a meeting with regional officials.

“The Kemerovo region is Russia’s leading coal province and may be of interest for Shell given our expertise and advanced technologies in coal-bed methane,” Vera Surzhenko, a spokeswoman for Shell, said by telephone from Moscow today. “At the moment it is too early to say anything specifically.”

Russia, holder of the largest natural-gas reserves, may have as much as 87 trillion cubic meters of coal-bed methane, OAO Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said in February. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the time said this was the equivalent of two OAO Gazproms.

Christian Bukovics, Shell vice president for exploration in Russia, the Caspian and Ukraine, met Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev today, Surzhenko said.

Coal-bed methane, gas in shale, tight gas held between rocks, and gas hydrates in permafrost or on ocean floors are collectively known as unconventional gas resources. The methane can be extracted from coal when pressure on the seams is reduced, usually by removing water.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow [email protected].

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at [email protected].


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