Salym Petroleum Development begins implementation of innovative technologies in enhanced oil recovery

A pilot project on enhanced oil recovery by Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) has seen the delivery of equipment to the Salymskaya fields for the construction of a facility for the preparation of a special solution to be used in significantly increasing oil recovery ratios. The facility is expected to be brought into production in mid-2015.

The pilot project, on the application of new technologies through the use of chemical reagents at the Salymskaya fields, has been ongoing for several years. The essence of the innovation consists of the injection of a special solution — consisting of a surface active agent (or “surfactant”), soda and polymer (together known as “ASP —Alkaline, Surfactant, Polymer) — into the oil-bearing strata. Research undertaken thus far suggests that the application of ASP strategies could increase recovery ratios by as much as 20 percent, insofar as the technology allows the production of crude remaining in the subsoil after the use of traditional methods of field development.

The facility for the mixing the ASP solution components is a vital part of the commercial infrastructure necessary for the successful implementation of the project. The equipment has been specially produced for SPD, with company specialists twice making inspection field visits to discuss the modification of engineering solutions specific to the project. Implementation of this new methodology has required the drilling of seven wells and the construction of various infrastructure facilities including a pipeline, an ASP unit and an emulsion separation unit, in which ASP components will be used to separate water and ASP components from crude. The key feature of this method is the opportunity for its use at existing infrastructure, and its scaling and replication at other fields throughout the region.

Delivery of the final equipment consignment required 15 hauling rigs. The convoy included seven mega-trailers, including one refrigerated lorry to ensure the maintenance of appropriate temperatures for freight susceptible to cold. All equipment was delivered without damage, and on time.

Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev commented: “This pilot project allows us to apply, in practice, innovative solutions directed at further improving the viability of oilfield development. In the long term, we plan to actively implement this new technology throughout other fields in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region.”

Reference

Salym Petroleum Development N.V. (SPD) is a joint enterprise between JSC Gazprom Neft and Shell Salym Development B.V. The company was established in 1996 to develop the Salym group of oilfields in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region. Year-end results for 2014 show total production by SPD at 6.55 million tonnes of oil.

Alkaline, Surfactant, Polymer (ASP) is a promising methodology for improving oil recovery through the injection of a three-component solution (anionic surfactant, alkali and polymer) into reservoir rock. The anionic surfactant reduces the surface tension of the oil and, under the influence of the alkali, alters the rock’s electronic charge which, in turn, reduces the loss of anionic surfactant. The polymer is used to increase the viscosity of the solution. This technology is in use in the United States, Canada and China with pilot testing ongoing in several other countries.

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