Following full refurbishment and re-equipment, the Gazprom Neft Drilling Support Centre (part of the company’s Joint Scientific and Research Centre and responsible for round-the-clock monitoring of the company’s most high-tech wells) is now operational, with the facility’s official opening attended by Gazprom PJSC Chairman of the Management Committee Alexey Miller. The Drilling Support Centre is the only such facility in the Russian oil and gas industry able to provide specialist geological and technical support in the construction of high-technology wells — which, as at late-2015, now comprise 40 percent of the Gazprom Neft portfolio (the highest such proportion among domestic oil and gas companies).
The Gazprom Neft Drilling Support Centre is designed to ensure the closest possible cooperation between geologists and drilling-technology specialists, supporting hands-on decision-making as information on reservoir characteristics and other well-data comes to light. Such close, real-time collaboration between geologists and technologists within a single organisation is unique within Russia’s oil sector, significantly improving the company’s efficiency. Last year also saw Gazprom Neft complete the construction of 359 new wells throughout its own fields (an increase of 20 percent on 2014), with multi-stage fracking undertaken at 254 of these (50 percent more than the previous year) — this increase in the proportion of high-technology wells being part of the company’s new Technology Strategy.
The Drilling Support Centre was established in 2012 in response to the need for specialist support in the construction of high-technology wells. This new facility is fully equipped with cutting-edge interactive equipment, ensuring the unit’s optimum efficiency. Operating round-the-clock, the newly-equipped facility can support approximately 600 wells of any complexity, including heavy-duty wells, wells with extended horizontal sections, and ultra-deep wells. In addition to which, the centre also monitors drilling at all wells at hard-to-recover (tight) reserves, and as well as being responsible for the testing of new drilling technologies.
* High-technology wells include horizontal and multilateral wells, as well as those used for fracking operations. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a means of intensifying output at a field, through the high-pressure injection of a mixture of fluids and a special proppant agent (proppant) into oil-bearing strata. The process of injecting the mixture creates highly conductive channels (“hydraulic fractures”) connecting the well (bore hole) and the strata. These fractures allow oil to flow that would not, under other circumstances, reach the well. Hydraulic fracking is undertaken through horizontal wells. Fracking can be undertaken through horizontal and multi-stage fracking. Under multistage fracking, multiple fracking operations can be undertaken from a single horizontal well, allowing a manifold increase in the catchment area covered from that well.
** At the end of 2014 all Gazprom Neft initiatives directed at improving efficiency in oil and gas production, the development of new reserves, and the implementation of the company’s strategic plans were consolidated into a single document comprising the company’s Technology Strategy. All technological challenges currently faced by the company are now categorised into 10 priority areas, each outlining specific timeframes and key targets for project implementation.