Volumes of high-technology drilling at Gazprom Neft continue to increase. As at end-2014, the total number of horizontal wells drilled at the company’s various enterprises reached 297,* almost 3.5 times more than two years ago (with 87 wells as at 2012). Of these, the number of wells drilled using multi-stage hydraulic fracturing**, moreover, at 168, shows an almost six-fold increase in comparison with 2012 (when 29 such wells were drilled), and the number of multi-lateral horizontal wells — at 30 — compares to five such wells in 2012. On which basis, high-technology drilling would account for almost 38 percent of the total 772 wells drilled in 2014 — a record in the Russian oil and gas industry.
Such proactive implementation of new technologies means Gazprom Neft can continue to extend the volume of hard-to-recover (“tight”) *** reserves under development. In particular, innovations in drilling over the past three years have seen an additional 30 million tonnes of reserves brought into development. The adoption of a programme on working with hard-to-recover reserves in 2012 means this figure is expected to reach 330 million tonnes by 2020. The implementation of innovative technologies significantly increases effectiveness in opening up the company’s mature fields. For example, the number of horizontal wells at Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz has increased from 30 to 90. On the basis of last year’s results, horizontal drilling accounts for almost 90 percent of all work undertaken — resulting in the first increase in production from Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz fields in a decade, with production reaching 9.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), a
The application of innovative technologies has allowed significant revisions to plans for the development of a range of Gazprom Neft fields. In particular, plans as at 2009 envisaged the Gazpromneft-Khantos Southern Priobskoye fields producing 8.5 million tonnes of oil in 2014: however, the use of innovative extraction technologies has seen actual production at this enterprise reach 12 million tonnes — 40 percent more than planned. Revised forecasts indicate that, in future, annual production at the Southern Priobskoye field will be between 3.5 and four million tonnes per year higher than forecast five years ago. A further striking example concerns the Vyngapurovskoye field: with production in 2014 expected to be in the order of 2.2 million tonnes, total production of 4.4 million tonnes was achieved — a level that will be maintained to 2020, despite the 2009 scenario envisaging a collapse in production volumes to 1.3 million tonnes.
Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev commented: “The proactive use of high-technology wells has allowed us to look again at plans for the development of Gazprom Neft reserves, and we have been able to revise production volumes upwards at many assets. Continued drilling of high-technology wells will allow us to bring new reserves into production, improving viability in opening up our fields.”
**Hydraulic fracturing — a means of intensifying the work of oil wells. The injection of fluid (special gel or, in certain instances, water or acid) into a well leads to fracturing within the formation, resulting in a greater inflow of oil into the well. Fracking can be undertaken several times in the course of drilling one well — i.e., multi-stage fracking.
***Hard-to-recover (“tight”) reserves include reserves in low-permeability, high water penetration, or reduced oil saturation formations, or reserves located in shallow formations.