Gazprom Neft and Wintershall Holding GmbH have signed an agreement on cooperation in enhanced oil recovery (EOR)* strategies to maintain or increase oil production at mature fields. The company has agreed, as a first stage, to collaborate in studying and fine-tuning chemical flooding technology using surfactant solutions and polymers**, as well as assessing the technical feasibility of the project, which may run for several years. A joint technical working group will, concurrently, undertake laboratory testing, hydrodynamic (“flow”) testing, and field testing, with the aim of determining the most viable correlation between surfactant solutions and polymers as applied to Gazprom Neft fields.
Assuming this proves successful, the next stage may involve pilot projects at the Kholmogorskoye field: preliminary joint assessments indicating the Kholmogorskoye field, Western Siberia, to be the most promising of the Gazprom Neft portfolio for the application of such technology. In the event that a positive outcome is achieved, this technology can be applied to other Gazprom Neft oilfields.
Vadim Yakovlev, First Deputy CEO, Gazprom Neft, commented: “Improving efficiency in hydrocarbon production is a key priority in the development of Gazprom Neft. The aim, at this stage, is to develop the optimum composition of chemical reagents and confirm their effectiveness under laboratory and operational conditions. The results obtained will enable our companies to determine the prospects of applying this technology at mature assets. Continuous development of our competences here will ensure Gazprom Neft remains one of the technological leaders in the Russian oil and gas industry.”
*A method of enhancing oil recovery, based on the injection of surfactant agents and polymers into productive strata, facilitating a higher oil recovery factor.
**Surfactant solutions allow the oil to be “washed” from the strata and mixed with water. The use of polymer solutions allow the water to gel, with the result that oil is more readily able to reach the well.