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Kashirtsev, Vladimir A., and Frances J. Hein, 2013, Overview of natural bitumen fields of the Siberian platform, Olenek uplift, Eastern Siberia, Russia, in F. J. Hein, D. Leckie, S. Larter, and J. R. Suter, eds., Heavy-Previous HitoilNext Hit and Previous HitoilNext Hit-sand petroleum systems in Alberta and beyond: AAPG Studies in Geology 64, p. 509529.


Copyright copy2013 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Overview of Natural Bitumen Fields of the Siberian Platform, Olenek Uplift, Eastern Siberia, Russia

Vladimir A. Kashirtsev,1 Frances J. Hein2

1Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 3 prosp., Koptyuga, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia (e-mail: [email protected]g.nsc.ru)
2Energy Resources Conservation Board, Suite 1000, 250-5th St., SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 0R4, Canada (e-mail: [email protected])


We thank the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Calgary, for providing technical assistance and support. We also thank Kevin Parks, Doug Boyler, and Martin Fowler for helpful suggestions to improve the manuscript, and Dan Magee for digital graphics.


As conventional crude reserves approach their predicted peak production as early as 2030, unconventional resources such as heavy Previous HitoilNext Hit and bitumen are receiving increased interest and are driving the more abrupt development of exploration, in-situ technologies, and prospective markets. For the first time, the huge potential of Russia's vast heavy-Previous HitoilTop and bitumen reserves is beginning to undergo systematic assessment, particularly in the eastern Siberian platform.

Siberia's natural bitumen fields have historically been disregarded and continue to be underrepresented in production markets mostly because of the climatic and technological challenges associated with in-situ extraction from permafrost and their extreme geographic distances from existing production and transportation lines. Until recently, much of the Russian literature has not been readily available. The compilation of references from western literature of this chapter, along with U.S. Geological Survey collections of Russian translations, will hopefully renew the interest of western researchers in these unconventional hydrocarbons.

Geochemical studies presented in this chapter point to a different model for the emplacement of hydrocarbons in the Olenek uplift, which suggests that hydrocarbons are likely derived from the paleo-Verhhoyansk Basin to the east. These refined geologic and geochemical models, along with improving infrastructure and the potential for integrated development of the unconventional resources, open up the possibility of significant future production in Eastern Siberia.

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