MOSCOW, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A subsidiary of Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said Thursday it embarked on a new stage of assessing the shale oil potential in Western Siberia.
Subsidiary Gazpromneft-Khantos started drilling into a shale oil well in the Krasnoleninsky field in the Bazhenov complex of Western Siberia. The company said it employed hydraulic fracturing at the site in order to improve oil extraction.
"The Bazhenov formation is an example of our work with non-traditional deposits, which is an area the company is focused on developing," Gazprom Neft Chief Executive Officer Vadim Yakovlev said in a statement.
The company offered no estimate of the shale oil potential other than to say "commercial oil flows" have been achieved already at some of the wells in the region.
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.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration lists Russia as the No. 3 energy producer in the world, behind Saudi Arabia and the United States. Technology used to extract oil and gas from shale helped boost U.S. production exponentially, though geographical complexities elsewhere in the world are impediments to development.