According to an audit undertaken by independent international consulting company DeGolyer and MacNaughton, Gazprom Neft’s proved (1P) hydrocarbon reserves as at end 2018 are estimated at 1.56 billion toe, a 2.8-percent increase on 2017: the reserves-replacement ratio for this category being 144 percent. The company’s reserves-replacement ratio (including acquisitions) now stands at 163 percent.
Fifty exploratory and prospecting wells have been drilled as part of the company’s resource-base development strategy — a record for the company. Exploratory footage drilled was up 92.27 percent in 2018 (to 180,550 metres), while seismic operations covered 4,573 square kilometres, of which 1,481 km2 was offshore.
Four new fields were discovered throughout Gazprom Neft license blocks in 2018, and 27 hydrocarbon deposits — the largest and most eagerly anticipated of the company’s discoveries being the «Triton» field at the Ayashsky block, offshore in the Sea of Okhotsk, with 137 million tonnes of reserves in place. Reserves at the «Neptune» field, moreover, discovered offshore from Sakhalin Island the year before, were increased to 415.8 million tonnes of oil (C1+C2), a 1.6-fold increase on initial estimates.
The company also enjoyed considerable success in geological prospecting at the A. Zhagrin field in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and at Messoyakhaneftegaz and Salym Petroleum Development assets.
New approaches in exploration
In 2018 Gazprom Neft established a competency centre — Gazpromneft-GEO — for implementing major geological prospecting projects, achieving greater synergies by concentrating managerial, technological and financial resources.
A further major project, directed at deploying new ways of working in exploration and geological prospecting, is being implemented in Tyumen, where a new «Geosphere» centre, for reservoir-system investigations, has been established.
This innovative laboratory complex will become a specialist centre for managing Gazprom Neft’s geological research, addressing such tasks as integrating data on geological features throughout the company’s upstream assets, developing new methodologies and reservoir evaluation techniques, and developing digital core modelling technologies.
The new innovation centre — which is unparalleled in Russia — will bring together laboratories, a high-tech core storage facility, and innovative office space, and will become a dedicated forum for training and educating company specialists, as well as a location for industry conferences.
A dedicated building for the Geosphere research centre will be constructed in Tyumen, with capacity to hold up to 200 kilometres of core samples. The storage section will be fully automated and designed to utilise Russian-produced robotized systems.
Industry 4.0 technologies in exploration
Gazprom Neft is developing methods for improving efficiency in geological prospecting using Industry 4.0 («Internet of Things (IoT)») technologies. One of the most important digital projects the company is undertaking, in conjunction with IBM Research Brazil, being the «Cognitive Geologist» project, which envisages using machine-learning systems and artificial intelligence to optimise the analysis of geological data and simulations based on this.
The solution developed through this partnership will make it possible to automate a whole range of routine operations, shortening lead-times from half a year to one month. Using cognitive technologies and lifelong learning models will facilitate better-quality forecasting on every new project.