Shell Begins Drilling Operations in Siberia

Shell has begun drilling the first producing well on the biggest of three Siberian fields, in which it plans to invest up to $1 billion. Shell is committed to its previous target of producing the first oil from the Salym group of fields by 2005 with production expected to peak at 120,000 barrels per day in 2009.

The company is working on the Salym fields in a 50/50 joint venture with its Russian partner Evikhon and wants to invest $200 million in the project during 2005 - 2006.
Shell has invested heavily in Russia, where it leads a $10 billion project to build the world's largest liquefied natural gas plant on the far-eastern island of Sakhalin by 2006.

The Salym group of fields is estimated to contain 880 million barrels of oil.