Mongolia has over 700bn tonnes of oil shale resources, according to research from the mining ministry. Developing the country's oil shale could help ease dependence on oil and fuel imports, which mainly stem from Russia.
The report showed that Mongolia has more than 60 oil shale deposits, in several parts of the country including the Tov, Ovorkhangai, Dundgobi and Omnogobi districts, state news agency Montsame reports. Ulaanbaatar has already taken some initial steps towards developing the country's reserves, signing a five-year exploration agreement with US-based Genie Energy earlier this year.
Mongolian oil production is low, and the country lacks processing capacity. The government is looking to alternative sources, as demand for fuel is expected to grow strongly in the coming years as the population grows and economy expands.
Currently the country imports around 90% of its oil and oil products from Russia, with the remainder coming from China. In June, Mongolia's HBOil announced it had bought at 20% stake in the operator of North Korea's Sungri refinery. The company plans to supply crude to the refinery for processing, then reimport the products.
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