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Record-breaking well goes into operation at Gazprom Neft’s Prirazlomnoye field

Gazprom Neft has completed construction of a new production well at its Prirazlomnoye field in the Barents Sea. The well’s Directional Difficulty Index (DDI) of 7.05 is among the highest in Russia, meaning this new facility is classified as super-complex. The length of the well stands at more than 6.6 kilometres — a new record for the company’s offshore fields.

The construction process was supervised remotely, online, by specialists at the company’s GeoNavigator drilling support centre, located in St Petersburg, with predictive analytics being used to ensure well-targeting accuracy along the optimum trajectory. Gazprom Neft is gradually deploying neural-network- and machine-learning-based technologies to further fine-tune its drilling processes.

Total well stock at Prirazlomnoye already stands at 23, the lengths of which are increasing as the field is developed and blocks ever more distant from the offshore platform are brought into production. Project operator Gazprom Neft plans to build a further well by the end of 2021, facilitating a further increase in production rates. A total 3.27 million tonnes of oil were produced at Prirazlomnoye in 2020, with more than 15 million tonnes having been shipped to customers since the field went into commercial production.

“This new well sets another record — in terms of length — at the Prirazlomnoye field. Increasing drilling complexity notwithstanding, we are continuing to increase our well stock, as planned. But the parameters of this new facility are still some way from our technological limit. Our specialists’ experience, skills and competencies mean we can build offshore wells of up to nine kilometres in length.”
Igor Rustamov
Igor Rustamov Director General, Gazprom Neft Shelf
Notes for editors

The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the south—east of the Barents Sea, 60 kilometres offshore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 79 million tonnes. The licence to develop this field by Gazpromneft-Shelf LLC, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft. Commercial development of the Prirazlomnoye field started in December 2013. A new oil blend, “ARCO”, was launched on the global market in April 2014.

The ice-resistant “Prirazlomnaya” offshore rig was designed and constructed in Russia specifically for development of this field, and is capable of handling all technological operations — drilling, production, storage, and processing and offloading of the finished product. The Prirazlomnaya rig is designed for use under the most extreme environmental and climatic conditions: meeting the most stringent safety requirements, it is capable of withstanding maximum ice loads.

* The Directional Difficulty Index (DDI) reflects the complexity of a well’s trajectory. The index is calculated in well-path design (well trajectory planning), in line with the well’s along-hole (AH) depth, its horizontal displacement, spatial-angle change parameters, and its true vertical depth. An index above 6.8 puts a facility in the highest complexity category — category four.