MOSCOW ? OAO Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state-controlled gas giant OAO Gazprom, has begun drilling an appraisal well as part of its program to develop unconventional and hard-to-recover oil reserves, the company said in a statement Friday.
The drilling at the Krasnoleninsky deposit in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District in Siberia will help Gazprom Neft "improve tight oil expertise in order to develop hydrocarbons located in the Bazhenov, Abalakskaya and Frolovskaya formations," the company said. It will examine the reults of drilling in spring this year then decide on further project development.
Oil companies in Russia ? the world's top energy producer ? are increasingly looking to deposits that are harder to tap as production declines at Soviet-era fields in Western Siberia.
Gazprom Neft is already working on a similar tight oil project with Royal Dutch Shell. In December, state-controlled oil giant OAO Rosneft and Exxon Mobil Corp. signed a deal for a pilot drilling program to assess tight oil reserves.
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