ArmInfo. The negotiations on construction of a light tight oil processing plant in Armenia will be completed by late 2016. Afterwards, it is envisaged to launch a project on development of light tight oil industry in the Eurasian Economic Union within the next two years, Dr. Sam M. Saeed, Chief Technology Officer of AERTC's "ENUGY Project", has told ArmInfo.
The expert says that Armenia has large light tight oil reserves. He notes at the moment the company is conducting a dialogue with Head of the Union of Armenians of Russia Ara Abrahamyan to launch the project on introduction of new energy technologies in the EEU member states within the shortest time possible. Diversification of alternative sources of hydrocarbons through developing the light tight oil industry will become especially relevant amid the dwindling reserves of the traditional energy resources and the dropping prime cost of the light tight oil output (1.5-2-fold over the past 2-3 years).
Dr. Sam M. Saeed says that according to the latest surveys, Kazakhstan and Armenia have huge light tight oil reserves and can be energy hubs for the entire region. He notes that at the moment the company is going to conduct overland surveying operations to draw up the topographic maps of the entire Eurasian region. At the same time, the surveyed resources of the light tight oil are estimated at 500 bln tons. As regards Armenia, the expert says that the reserves here are less than in Kazakhstan, however, according to the preliminary data, one can say confidently that the current reserves will not only satisfy the domestic needs of the country, but also can be exported.
To recall, on 22 May 2013 the then US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern said in response to ArmInfo's question that the U.S. Geological Survey representatives completed the study of Armenia's shale gas resources. Previously, on August 3 2012, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Isle of Man-registered International Minerals & Mines Ltd. It was paving the way for the exploration of Armenia's shale reserves. Should large-scale commercial extraction proceed, Armenia's energy find could grant the country a measure of energy independence and, with it, newfound geopolitical freedom. The Aug. 3 deal came on the heels of another agreement between the Energy Ministry and the U.S. State Department in June to cooperate in energy exploration, commercialization and investment. This agreement planned "cooperative assessment and technical studies of Armenia's energy resources, including any potential shale gas resources."
According to the Armenian energy ministry, the August agreement was the result of an international shale gas conference sponsored by the U.S. Government, which offered exploration grants to Armenia and other countries. Previous assessments suggested Armenia's hydrocarbon reserves were small. The US Geological Survey, which was identified in the June memorandum as a technical partner in the joint effort, identified 44 million tons of in-place shale oil reserves in the Aramus region based on a 1994 study. The Armenian Government, however, raised the figure in a 2005 report (.pdf), listing 17 million to 18 million tons of shale oil reserves in Ijevan, Shamut and Jermanis and 128 million tons in Dilijan, reported the World Politics Review.