Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia will seek an adviser to help it find a partner for tapping its so far unused oil shale reserves as the country seeks to reduce oil imports.
The adviser will help prepare the tender for “exploitation, preparation, processing and production of oil and oil derivatives from shale in the Aleksinac basin” in southeastern Serbia, home to estimated 2 billion tons of shale reserves, the Mining Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. The fee will be about 20 million dinars ($244,000).
Serbia hopes to eventually produce between 500,000 tons and 600,000 tons of oil from shale, replacing part of the imports that range from 1.8 million tons to 2.7 million tons a year, the ministry said.
Peu-Resavica, a state-run mining company, is taking samples from more than 100 exploratory drills near Aleksinac and a sample analysis will be completed by the end of the month, the government said. It said that “oil shale will be initially mined from open pits” and later in underground shafts.
The adviser is expected to come up with an “optimal model for the realization of such a complex project,” including the size of necessary investment that, according to earlier estimates, may exceed $1 billion.
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