Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Natural Bitumen and Extra-Heavy Oil Country Notes
Extra-heavy oil has been identified in the Russian Federation in small amounts in the Volga-Urals and North Caucasus-Mangyshlak Basins (S.I. Goldberg, written communication). As is the case with many countries, accurate and timely data are insufficient for making estimates.
Information relating to natural bitumen deposits indicates that very large resources are present in the east Siberia platform in the Tunguska Basin (Meyer and Freeman, 2006). This is harsh terrain and only the Olenek deposit has been studied in sufficient detail to permit the estimation of discovered bitumen in place. The Siligir deposit has been frequently cited in reports of world bitumen deposits, but the primary source for these citations has not been located. It may be assumed that the estimate of more than 51 billion barrels for the basin is conservative. This area is so remote, and Russia's conventional oil and gas resources so great, that it is not likely that attempts will be made in the near future to exploit this natural bitumen. Most of the other Russian bitumen deposits are located in the Timan-Pechora and Volga-Urals Basins, which are analogous geologically to the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. However, these deposits are scattered and the recoverable portions are not quantitatively large. The deposits in the Tatar Republic have been studied extensively and efforts to exploit them may be conducted in the future.