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Belorusneft, British Toros to prospect for shale oil, gas in Belarus


The Belarusian industrial group Belorusneft and the British company Toros will set up a joint venture to prospect and possibly extract shale oil and shale gas in the Pripyat oil-and-gas bearing basin, Belorusneft’s press service told BelTA.

The source underlined the importance of the project. If successful at extracting the Belarusian company’s first shale oil and gas, the project will help determine prospects of shale oil and shale gas extraction in the country as a whole more precisely.

BelTA has been told that the Belarusian-British joint venture will be set up by March 2014: time is needed to register the enterprise and get a license for the land.

The joint venture may be set up on the basis of parity principle, with partners sharing costs and revenues. Belorusneft and Toros are expected to finance the cost of 3D seismic exploration together. The sides discussed details of the deal and terms of cooperation during a recent visit of Toros representatives to Belorusneft.

The partners plan to look for shale oil and shale gas in an area as large as 580km2 between the Zolotukhinskoye oil field and the Ostashkovskoye oil field in Gomel Oblast. Drilling will start after an additional survey is over and the location of the future borehole is determined more precisely. Specialists from Belarus are expected to perform some of the work: they will drill the vertical part of the borehole while the British company will perform the horizontal drilling part and hydraulic fracturing.