Russia plans to ramp up shale oil production
Russia is looking to increase its oil production prowess in order to help it maintain its share of the global market once demand finally recovers from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic. Two state-owned banks, Sberbank and VEB plan to lend oil firms RUB 400bn at almost zero interest rates in order to drill around 3,000 unfinished wells. This will enable companies to complete the wells more quickly once oil prices recover instead of beginning from scratch, which would mean it would take far longer to recover pre-pandemic output levels agreed to with other leading oil producers. According to Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Russia pumped an average of 11.3 million barrels per day from 180,000 wells last year but its output has fallen by 2 million barrels.