ExxonMobil exploring massive Russian shale play

Global energy giant ExxonMobil has begun exploration of a massive shale oil play in Western Siberia, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

ExxonMobil struck an accord with the Russian government-owned oil company Rosneft earlier this year to begin joint oil exploration efforts around the country in areas where Rosneft lacks the technical expertise to access oil reserves.

Forbes reports that the shale play in Siberia, known as the Bazhenov play, has been a major target for international energy companies for decades, as the source of the massive conventional oil reserves in the region. In all, it covers an area roughly 80 times that of the massive Bakken shale play that has played such a crucial part in rejuvenating the northern Plains states.

At this point, explained ExxonMobil's chief executive officer Rex Tillerson, the company still will need to conduct several years of exploratory drilling to determine the nature of the deposits.

"There is huge shale potential in shale rocks in West Siberia ... we just don't know what the quality is," Tillerson told Dow Jones Newswires.

PennEnergy's Research area can provide a comparison to the Bakken shale play in the U.S.

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