* The “Bazhenov formation” refers to a specific geological stratum identified in the centre of Western Siberia, running to depths of
The Bazhenov formation is characterised by dense clay material, believed to have a high level of oil saturation (containing an anomalously high proportion of organic material, giving rise to the presence of oil). Practically no commercial development is currently ongoing at the Bazhenov formation, with work instead directed at identifying economically viable strategies for developing these reserves. A unique feature of the Bazhenov formation — and what determines its commercial value — is its high level of oil saturation, and, moreover, the high-quality of this — light and low-sulphur, making it easier to refine.
** Gazprom Neft is currently implementing two major projects directed at investigating the Bazhenov formation: at the Palyanovskaya deposit (Krasnoleninskoye field), and at the Yuzhno-Priobskoye field (both of which are located in the Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug). Several directional wells have been drilled at these fields to allow the development of unconventional deposits, with hydraulic fracking of the strata undertaken, and oil flow obtained. Two initial horizontal wells were also drilled last year at the Palyanovskaya deposit, and multi-stage fracking undertaken.
An initial exploration well was also drilled at the Archinskoye field (Tomsk Oblast) in 2015, again to allow investigation of the Bazhenov formation, with a well-core sample extracted, now under analysis at specialist institutions. Late 2015 also saw the company obtaining licences to three further concessions in the Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, at which unconventional oil reserves are expected to be developed.
In addition to this, autumn 2015 saw a new specialist Gazprom Neft-supported faculty, “Technologies for Enhanced Oil Recovery in Tight Reserves” (including unconventional reserves), opened at the Gubkin Russian State Oil and Gas University, offering a two-year specialist master’s programme.
- Gazpromneft-Muravlenko photo gallery: