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MOSCOW, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has traditional commercially viable reserves of hydrocarbon fuel for at least several decades ahead. Eastern Siberia and the continental shelf are a development priority, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Rossiiskaya Gazeta in an interview published on Monday. Dvorkovich is the Chairman of the organizing committee of the 21st World Petroleum Congress (WPC) which opens in Moscow later in the day.
"Signing a really historic gas contract with China coincided with a mounting tension (in relations) with some of our partners. However, this does not mean at all that we have come to prefer the Asian market to the European market. As far as our oil and gas reserves are concerned, they will suffice for delivery to both Asia-Pacific and our European partners, and they are interested in this. A patent example of that is the following: the chiefs of major European energy corporations are among the participants in the WPC in Moscow," Dvorkovich stated.
Speaking of prospects for the production of shale oil in Russia, Dvorkovich said, "This is, first of all, a multi-aspect scientific problem (technology, ecology, reducing production costs) and the possibility of implementing pioneering projects." "Development is currently underway in experimental amounts in such areas as, for example, Tatarstan, at Bavly Field. But this is not the only promising non-traditional source of the rawstuff. It is essential to study, for example, the production and processing of gas hydrates," Dvorkovich pointed out.
He added that while oil prices are high, projects for the production of shale oil remain attractive notwithstanding the high outlays. "The deposits of shale oil Vaca Muerta in Argentina and the Bazhenovo formation in Russia are considered the most promising outside the United States," the deputy prime minister said. He noted that the idea of substituting oil for alternative sources of energy had been discussed over the past 30 years. However, ever since the idea was first mooted, nothing fundamentally new had been invented. This is why Dvorkovich, who is in charge of state policy in the fuel and energy sector, does not see grounds to believe that, in the medium term, a new type of rawstuffwill emerge that would be able to edge hydrocarbon fuel out.
"However, we address renewable sources of energy, the so-called green energy. Moreover, interest in cooperation in this respect is also expressed by our foreign partners, China, for example. I think it is worthwhile developing new technologies precisely through co-production arrangements with partners," Dvorkovich emphasized.