Russia and fracking

From Global Energy Monitor

Russia is the world's largest exporter of natural gas. The country's state-owned energy company, Gazprom, supplies about 25 percent of the fuel in the European Union through a pipeline in Ukraine.[1]


In April 2012 Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Russian energy producers to “rise to the challenge” of a changing market as the U.S. increases output of shale gas. The U.S. overtook Russia as the biggest producer of gas in 2009. That has cut prices and led nations from China to Poland to explore its shale resources, potentially cutting their reliance on Russian gas.[2]

There are rumors that Gazprom bankrolls anti-fracking campaigns and organizations, particularly in Europe, to maintain its dominance in gas, including the profits and political leveraging power that gas gives Russia officials over Europe.[3]


Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the final days of his term as prime minister, promised to support a package of tax measures, including for projects that require costly horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to pry so-called "tight oil" out of layers of rock. The measures are designed to encourage oil companies to turn around declining fields in Russia's Soviet-era oil heartland of Western Siberia.[4]

In June 2012 Bloomberg reported that Putin was is looking to use Exxon’s fracking technology in a venture with the Kremlin-run oil company OAO Rosneft to wring “tight oil” from the Bazhenov shale formation in west Siberia. Rosneft said the formation may hold 13.2 billion barrels of oil, a prospect needed for Russia to keep supplying 16 percent of global exports another decade, as Russia fell behind Saudi Arabia in 2011 as the biggest crude producer.[5]

In June 2012 Russia's TNK-BP, half-owned by BP, said it was encouraged by the results of unconventional oil drilling at an old West Siberian field, the Severo-Khokhryakskoye field - the first of several planned projects to determine the efficacy of "fracking" to boost output in the province.[6]



  1. Coral Davenport and Yochi J. Dreazen, "The Revival of Big Red,"] National Journal, June 4, 2012.
  2. Ilya Arkhipov and Anna Shiryaevskaya, "Putin Says Russia Needs to Rise to U.S. Shale-Gas Challenge," Bloomberg, April 11, 2012.
  3. Craig Pirrong, "Gasputin Warns that Russia Could Get Fracked Up," Streetwise Professor, April 28, 2012.
  4. Melissa Akin, "TNK-BP to up fracking in Siberia after well success," Reuters, June 27, 2012.
  5. Jake Rudnitsky and Stephen Bierman, "Putin Counts on Exxon to Maintain Russian Oil Clout," Bloomberg, June 14, 2012.
  6. Melissa Akin, "TNK-BP to up fracking in Siberia after well success," Reuters, June 27, 2012.

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