Pilot testing of new KLA-SHIELD drilling mud* has been successfully completed at the Yuzhno-Priobskoye field (under development by Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Khantos). Drilling efficiency has seen direct improvements thanks to less time spent in horizontal well construction, with the re-use of KLRA-SHIELD mud leading to a reduction in drilling-mud preparation time. Testing and implementation of these new drilling muds is being undertaken as part of Gazprom Neft’s “Technology Strategy”**, directed at utilising innovative technologies and resources to further improve production efficiency.
Testing of this new technology was initiated in 2015, with specialists from the Gazprom Neft Joint Scientific and Research Centre and Gazpromneft-Khantos evaluating the technological and economic performance of the KLA-SHIELD system in the course of drilling three horizontal wells over a period of six months.
Using this new technology has significantly improved efficiency in drilling complex wells with extensive clay sections, as the unique composition of the drilling-mud system reduces clay hydration (or “swelling”), limiting its ingress into the drilling mud through a three-fold improvement in hydration inhibition. Tests showed a
Igor Rustamov, Head of Drilling and Well Work, Gazprom Neft, commented: “Drilling is one of the most cost-intensive operations in the development of hydrocarbon fields. Construction of high-technology — horizontal or multi-stage — wells means Gazprom Neft can continually improve efficiency here. Added to which, the company is committed to adapting and implementing new technologies to make the drilling process faster, safer and more efficient.”
* Drilling mud is a complex, multi-component mixture used for well-flushing during drilling. It allows the well to be cleared of any rock detritus or residues during drilling, re-balances reservoir pressure, and cools and lubricates the drill bit. The appropriate drilling mud is selected on the basis of each individual well, depending on the geology of the strata and its physical and chemical characteristics.
** All Gazprom Neft initiatives directed at improving efficiency in oil and gas production, developing new reserves, and implementing the company’s strategic plans were consolidated into a single document, comprising the company’s Technology Strategy, in late 2014. All of the technological challenges currently faced by the company are now categorised into 10 priority areas, each outlining specific timeframes and key targets for implementation.