Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Oil Shale Country Notes
In excess of 80 oil shale deposits have been identified in Russia.
The deposits in the Volga-Petchyorsk province, although of reasonable thickness (ranging from 0.8 to 2.6 m), contain high levels of sulphur.
Extraction began in this area in the 1930s, with the oil shale being used to fuel two power plants, but the operation was abandoned owing to environmental pollution. However, most activity has centred on the Baltic Basin where the kukersite oil shale has been exploited for many years. In 2002 the Leningradslanets Oil Shale Mining Public Company produced 1.12 million tonnes. Following June 2003 all shale mined was delivered to the Estonian Baltic power station with the resultant electricity delivered to UES (Unified Energy System of Russia). However, production ceased at the Leningradslanets Mine on 1 April 2005. It has been reported that the Russian-owned company, Renova, plans to build its own shale oil producing plant. Although design work has yet to begin, oil shale production restarted on 15 January 2007, with the 50 000 tonnes per month being stored.
Until 1998, the Slantsy electric power plant (located close to the Estonian border, 145 km from St Petersburg) was equipped with oil shale fired furnaces but in 1999 its 75 MW plant was converted to use natural gas. It continued to process oil shale for oil until June 2003, since when its main activities have been electrode coke annealing and the processing of coals and natural gas oil components.
In 1995 a small processing plant operated at Syzran with an input of less than 50 000 tonnes of shale per annum. Although the accompanying mine has now closed, a group of about 10 miners are producing in the region of 10 000 tonnes per year. Using the Syzran plant the oil shale is being processed for the manufacture of a pharmaceutical product. Investment is being sought for a new plant capable of processing 500 tonnes per day. The mine would be re-opened with the intention of perpetuating the production of pharmaceutical products. To this end a business plan has been issued.