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Gazprom Neft introduces new technologies for developing hard-to-recover reserves at the Bazhen Formation

The Palyanovsky test site, located at the Krasnoleninsky field in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug

Gazprom Neft’s Bazhenov Technology Centre has successfully tested eight new Russian drilling and downhole treatment technologies for developing non-traditional hydrocarbon reserves at the Bazhen Formation. Ten high-technology wells have been constructed using these in 2018, with commercial oil flows being obtained in each case.

The Bazhenov Technology Centre undertook 70 fracking stages last year, achieving a density of 15 stages per 1,000 metres. Thanks to the use of new materials and technologies, lead times for drilling high-technology wells have been reduced from 47 to 35 days, and the time spent on each stage halved, from 48 to 24 hours (and, in the best case, cut to eight hours). This is expected to increase to 30 fracking stages for every 1,500 metres of horizontal sections in 2019.

A range of new Russian technologies for developing hard-to-recover reserves have been investigated at the Palyanovsky test site, located at the Krasnoleninsky field in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, throughout 2018. For example, a hydrocarbon-based fluid — being less reliant on pressure and temperature reductions — has been used in borehole flushing for the first time. Rotation cementing has been successfully tested in treating horizontal wells, with elastic cements (which ensure water tightness) being used in Russia for the first time. High-speed high-volume injection technologies, Pumpdown Plug technology (involving the use of composite frac plugs on a wireline to separate each fracking stage and perforation), and a range of other unique solutions have also proved highly efficient in multistage fracking — all of which are expected to see widespread application in the further development of hard-to-recover oil reserves at the Bazhen Formation.

The Bazhenov Technology Centre began using the Russian ROST-MULTIFRAC software suite, developed by Gazprom Neft in conjunction with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), last year. This fracking simulator has supported all of the calculations and modelling of optimum fissure systems for each of the 10 wells drilled in 2018.

“The key to the resources of the Bazhen formation lies in finetuning oil production technologies. And the outcomes of 2018 confirm we are moving in the right direction. Thanks to our accumulated skills and competencies, and by utilising new materials and methodologies, we have improved efficiency both in terms of production and finances, cutting the production costs of hard-to-recover oil from RUB30,000 to RUB18,000 per tonne. Further development and testing of new approaches will being us and our partners closer to one of the industry’s strategic objectives — developing viable technology to develop the Bazhen Formation.”
Kirill Strizhnev
Kirill Strizhnev CEO of Gazprom Neft’s Bazhenov Technology Centre