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Gazprom Neft is successfully developing tight reserves

In 2013, Gazprom Neft will increase substantially the extent of its horizontal well drilling operations with multiple hydro-fracturing as part of its efforts to develop hard-to-recover reserves.

This program was approved by Gazprom Neft in 2012 and seeks to bring an additional 60 million tons of reserves into the producing category before 2015. By 2020 that figure should rise to 300 million tons. In total, over 8 million tons of tight reserves were brought into commercial production in 2012. The company classifies as “tight” the reserves with low reservoir porosity and permeability and high water cut located in low pay zones.

In 2012, Gazprom Neft undertook the identification and estimation of its booked tight reserves. It also selected top-priority sites for pilot projects. The projects slated for commercial development in 2012 and 2013 include Yuzhno-Priobskoye and Zimnyeye fields (both fields are operated by Gazpromneft Khantos ), Vyngayakhinskoye and Krainyeye fields (operated by Gazpromneft Muravlenko ), and Vyngapurovskoye field (operated by Gazpromneft Noyabrskneftegaz ).

Horizontal well drilling with multiple hydrofracs is the main technology for recovering tight reserves approved by the company for its 2013 projects. This technology allows multiple hydro-fracking in a single well in order to enhance oil production and raise the oil recovery factor by stimulating individual formations one at a time, for example, low-productivity formations. Over 120 horizontal wells are scheduled to be drilled in 2013, which is more than one and a half times the number drilled in 2012 and four times as many as in 2011. Almost 90 multiple hydrofracs are slated for 2013, which more than triples the results of 2012. Furthermore, in 2012 the number of operations performed on each well increased from 3-4 to 5-6.

A total of approximately 110 recovery enhancement jobs were performed in 2012 on tight formations (amounting to nearly 10 percent of all such operations performed across the company). This included such complex projects as drilling wells with horizontal sections of up to one thousand meters and drilling horizontal wells through formations less than two meters thick.

“Raising the oil recovery factor and trying to work better with our reserves is what we are constantly focused on. However, state-of-the-art technologies are not always what it takes to develop tight reserves. In order to make the development of hard-to-recover reserves profitable, we also need support from the state in the form of a special tax regime. Putting together technologies and tax incentive mechanisms will allows us to make new areas feasible to develop and thereby increase production rates,” said Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev.