Russia President Vladimir Putin awards the Distinguished Service Order to Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov

Russia’s Lukoil and France’s Total SA have agreed to jointly develop the Bazhenov shale oil fields in western Siberia, sometimes called Russia’s Bakken, according to a report from

In January, Royal Dutch Shell and Russia’s Gazprom Neft launched a drilling program in Bazhenov through their joint venture, Salym Petroleum Development, said.

Test wells have flowed at about 400 bpd, comparable to test well averages at the prolific Bakken shale formation in North Dakota.

Lukoil CEO Vagin Alekperov said the company plans to extract 100,000 tons of oil—or 733,000 barrels—this year from Bazhenov, the report said.

Total holds a 16% interest in Bazhenov through its stake in Russia’s second-largest gas producer, Novatek.

Bazhenov covers 570 million acres — an area the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined, said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that Bazhenov holds 75 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil.

Exxon Mobil plans to start a $300 million pilot project drilling with Russia’s Rosneft this year.

President Obama warned last week that sanctions over Russia’s takeover of Crimea could target the oil and gas industry.


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