Gazprom Neft and Russia’s “University of Mines” hold third annual conference on hard-to-recover reserves

The third annual International Scientific and Technical Conference on “Development of Hard-to-recover Oil and Gas Reserves: Problems and Experience”, organised by Gazprom Neft together with Russia’s National Mineral Resources University (the “University of Mines”), has taken place in St Petersburg.

Bringing together a total 185 representatives from 24 leading Russian and international oil and service companies, scientific and research centres and Russian educational establishments, as well as specialists from the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use (Rosnedra) and the State Commission on Mineral Reserves, the conference included 46 presentations on current issues in the prospecting and development of hard-to-recover (“tight”) reserves, including unconvenctional reserves such as those at the Bazhenov and Abalakskaya formations. The conference also saw discussion of issues relating to an integrated approach to working with hard-to-recover reserves, new high-performance technologies in opening up such reserves, and the potential for the inclusion of these in field development.

Gazprom Neft is actively leading work in the opening-up of hard-to-recover reserves. The company’s plans to 2020 include the development of an additional c. 300 million tonnes of reserves in that category, through the introduction of innovative production methodologies. In particular, year-end results for 2013 show that high-technology wells (as a proportion of total drilling) have increased from four to 35 percent over the past two years, with the company now leading the Russian oil sector, on that basis. The investigation of unconventional reserves at the Bazheno-Abalaksky formation (Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Region) is also a priority project for the company. September saw Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft Khantos begin drilling of the first horizontal well as part of its prospecting at the Bazhenov complex, within the Palyanovsky deposit at the Krasnoleninsky field. Work is also continuing at a further project, prospecting of the Bazheno-Abalaksky formations at the Southern Priobskoye field.

Mars Khasanov, General Director the Gazprom Neft Research and Development Centre commented: “The development and opening-up of hard-to-recover and unconventional reserves is a major focus of the company’s development. The testing and implementation of technologies that will allow the development of the Bazhenov formation in the long term, as well as the perfection of methodologies for the local evaluation and identification of potential licensing blocks, has allowed us to adjust and refine the programme for the further investigation of the Bazhenov formation, in order to continue the search for the optimum methodologies for its development.”

Rector of the “University of Mines” Vladimir Litvinenko added: “The holding of the annual international scientific and technical conference on hard-to-recover reserves – within the walls of the country’s oldest university – has, already, become a tradition. I am convinced that the sustainable development of the industry depends on the results of scientific and academic research and am determined that discussion does not remain exclusively theoretical but, rather, is used to make a practical contribution to companies’ operations.”

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