One of the world’s biggest potash producers has become a co-fonder of an enterprise dealing with oil shale development in Belarus. Oil shale is used to produce synthetic crude oil.
This information has been spread by “Zavtra Tvoey Strany”.
Among founders of Oil Shale company, registered in the middle of December 2010, are Belaruskali, BelorusNeft and Belgorkhimprom.
Oil shale is an important fuel and energy source that is used in energy and chemical industries, in building materials production, agriculture and road construction. Shale oil is also a source of liquid fuel and a number of valuable chemicals (sulphur, drying oil, fertilizers, paint). Oil shale may contain elevated concentration of rare and radioactive elements. Synthetic crude oil can be produced from oil shale.
Oil shale deposits in Belarus were discovered in 1963 in the Prypyat Basin with an area of some 10,000 sq meters covering the western part of the Homel region, the southern part of the Minsk region and the eastern part of the Brest region. Turau, Svatlahorsk and Lyuban deposits are most promising.
Experts concluded long ago that the Belarusian oil shale is suitable to produce high-energy liquid and gas fuel, valuable chemical compounds, different construction materials and fertilizers.
Some attempts to launch oil shale producing industry have already been made. In 2007, businessman Nikolay von Keler arrived in Belarus (as rumoured, through the mediation of Mikhail Myasnikovich, then head of the Belarusian Academy of Science and now prime minister) and gained signing two investment contracts with his company Polar Stars Group. One of them concerned the extraction and processing of brown coal, the other – the extraction of oil shale. However, Keler wasn’t very successful. He promised the Belarusian government to find money and start implementing the projects by 2010.
In late November 2010, the press service of Belneftekhim company said the company needed investors to take part in the implementation of the project on constructing an oil shale processing plant with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per year.
The aim of the project is to start production of engine fuel, gas and raw materials for the chemical sector using the technology of oil shale thermal processing. The amount of investments needed is about $2bn.