Gazprom Neft has begun drilling the first appraisal well to research and assess potential production at the Bazheno-Abalaksky horizon of the Palyanovskaya zone at the Krasnoleninsky deposit (developed by Gazpromneft-Khantos).
The drilling is part of the company's programme to develop unconventional and hard to recover oil reserves. Exploration of the Bazheno-Abalaksky stratum is part of a project to improve tight oil expertise in order to develop hydrocarbons located in the Bazhenov, Abalakskaya and Frolovskaya formations. These formations in Western Siberia have extremely low porosity but high oil content and have not been extensively explored.
The Palyanovskaya zone of the Krasnoleninsky deposit is situated in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. The appraisal well will allow Gazprom Neft to collect core samples from the formations in the zone and conduct hydrodynamic tests. Processing of seismic data obtained prior to drilling, as well as follow-up tests of previous wells indicated that tight oil could be produced in the Palyanovskaya zone.
In spring 2013, Gazprom Neft will examine drilling results and then make a decision on further project development.
Assessing the prospects of the Bazheno-Abalaksky stratum is Gazprom Neft's second tight oil project. The company is also involved in a similar operation with Shell as part of the Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) joint venture. Gazprom Neft, Shell and SPD produced a roadmap, which sets the stages leading towards full-scale development of the Bazhenov formation at the Verkhne-Salymskoye oil deposit in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District.