Oil shale is to be the next step towards Belarus’ energy security. The construction of an ore-dressing and processing enterprise will cost $2bn, with investors already showing interest in Belarus’ deposits of oil shale. The layers were formed hundreds of millions of years ago on the sea bed, from plant and animal remains. Shale oil is similar to oil in its composition but requires rock to be specially processed. Scientists believe these natural resources contain even more oil than natural deposits. Estimates show that Belarus possesses about 9bn tonnes of oil shale.
Lyuban and Turov oil shale deposits were discovered in the 1960s, when oil and gas were cheap, making it economically unfeasible to mine. Now, production profitability is rising, along with prices, making it reasonable to start developing these sites. The Turov deposit will be the first, having greater stocks at a shallower depth. The most optimal technology for mining and processing is soon to be tested. It’s been proven that the Turov deposit boasts 10m tonnes of oil shale, with over 500,000 tonnes of oil potentially reaped annually.