MOSCOW, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom Neft said it signed an agreement with oilfield services company Schlumberger to examine shale reserves in Western Siberia.
Both sides signed a framework agreement on technology cooperation for shale oil reserve areas in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous district in Western Siberia.
Gazprom Neft, the oil subsidiary of gas company Gazprom, said Monday it was drawing on Schlumberger's experience to develop "hard-to-extract" shale oil reserves.
Gazprom Neft offered no estimate of the reserve potential and there was no statement from Schlumberger about the agreement.
In January, a Russian joint venture between Shell and Gazprom Neft, Salym Petroleum Development, announced it started a five-well drilling program in Siberian shale.
In December, Russian energy company Rosneft, one of the largest energy companies in the world, signed an agreement with its Norwegian counterpart Statoil to explore the shale oil potential in the Ural mountains of Russia.
Shale development in Russia is in its early stages. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, two drilling technologies used for shale reserves, has led to an oil and natural gas boom in North America.