Gazprom Neft and Schlumberger have signed a supplement to their Framework Agreement on Technology Cooperation *, which was made in 2011. The companies expand cooperation to achieve greater efficiency in development of hard-to-extract shale oil reserves, mainly from Bazhenov deposits in Western Siberia.
In the near future, the companies will cooperate on Gazprom Neft plans for the development of Bazhenov-Abalaksky group at the Palyanovskaya area of the Krasnoleninskoye field, and later, cooperation will extend to other projects for development of non-conventional oil reserves in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. The expertise that Gazprom Neft will acquire from these activities shall be combined with the experience that Schlumberger gained from the operations at the Bazhenov-Abalaksky group in Western Siberia, as well as from the development of shale oil reserves worldwide.
As a technology partner, Schlumberger will provide Gazprom Neft with proven technical solutions backed by the experience and expertise of Russian and global Schlumberger unconventional resources experts. Representatives of Gazprom Neft and Schlumberger will be members of the Joint Coordinating Committee, which will determine the strategy, objectives and performance indicators in the implementation of Bazhenov formation development projects. Schlumberger experts shall also participate in the Gazprom Neft Scientific and Technical Council meetings related to the Bazhenov-Abalaksky group projects.
Currently, Gazprom Neft explores shale oil deposits in three projects. In summer 2013, Gazprom Neft approved the program for further study of the Bazhenov-Abalaksky shale oil group of the Palyanovskaya area of the Krasnoleninskoye field (being developed by Gazpromneft-Khantos). The exploration program includes drilling of four directional wells to depths of 2,700—2,800 m until autumn 2014. Drilling of the first well started in December 2013. Gazprom Neft is also gaining experience in developing similar reserves through Salym Petroleum Development (SPD), a 50/50 joint venture with Shell. In January, SPD announced drilling of the first horizontal appraisal well for exploring the Bazhenov Formation at the Upper Salym. In 2014—2015, SPD plans to build five similar wells using multistage hydraulic fracturing technology. Moreover, in 2013, a second joint venture of Gazprom Neft and Shell was formed, which will operate new projects of exploration and development of shale oil deposits in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomic District.
Shale oil is contained in the Bazhenovskaya, Abalakskaya, and Frolovskaya suites, rock formations in Western Siberia with super-low permeability and a high level of oil saturation.
* The Agreement on Technology Cooperation between Gazprom Neft and Schlumberger was signed in spring 2011. The purpose of the Agreement is to increase the efficiency of exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in oil and gas fields of Gazprom Neft in Russia and abroad. This cooperation allows Gazprom Neft to effectively select new technologies offered by Schlumberger and expands the opportunities for training of personnel.