Hard-to-recover reserves comprise about 70 percent of Gazprom Neft’s project portfolio. These include residual deposits in depleted fields, low-concentration and low-porosity reservoirs, the development of which is only possible through the use of high-technology horizontal and multilateral wells — the construction of which is being undertaken by Gazprom Neft through the use of cutting-edge downhole equipment, remote online monitoring technology, and organisational technologies directed at optimising the drilling process and reducing costs
Rotary steerable systems (RSS)
The construction of high-technology wells demands a range of specialist equipment. The basis for modern, effective, precise and safe drilling these days lies in rotary steerable systems (RSS).
RSSs make possible the drilling of both perfect deflection angle wells with along-hole-displacement of less than 0.2°, as well as horizontal wells running to a length of more than 2,000 metres.
Utilising RSS makes possible the construction of extreme reach wells, as well as the high-precision drilling of wells in low-concentration reservoirs (one to two metres thick).
Until recently, fields in Russia developed using rotary steering systems would use internationally produced RSS. In 2015, however, the first Russian-produced RSS, developed by St Petersburg’s CSRI Electropribor, successfully completed testing at Gazprom Neft’s Vyngapurovskoe field in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. A further domestically produced RSS — manufactured by Burintekh —completed testing in January 2016 at Gazprom Neft’s Yuzhno-Priobskoye field in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
Remote controlled drilling
The Gazprom Neft Drilling Support Centre was established specifically to improve effectiveness in the construction of high-technology wells. Its work is predominantly based around geo-steering technology, which involves obtaining information on the geological model of a field in real time, with adjustments made to the well trajectory in line with this.
The use of cutting-edge technologies, including telecommunications technologies, allows data to be transferred to the Drilling Support Centre in real time, during drilling. Updated information is displayed on the existing geological model of the field, with actual data compared against projected data, analysed, and, if necessary, the well trajectory corrected on that basis in order to fall within the target zone. Then, as new data is received, the cycle is repeated, allowing uninterrupted control over drilling operations.
The Drilling Support Centre supports the construction of practically all complex targets, including heavy-duty wells, wells with extended horizontal sections, and ultra-deep and multilateral wells. In addition to which, the Drilling Support Centre controls the drilling of all wells involved in the development of hard-to-recover hydrocarbon reserves, and as well as supporting the testing of new drilling technologies.
Technical limit in drilling
Technological effectiveness is not just about the use of cutting-edge equipment and the implementation of uniquely complex operations. It also means the existence of an appropriate production culture, allowing operations to run at maximum efficiency. In order to achieve best results at the lowest cost, Gazprom Neft is implementing its “Technical Limit” programme in its drilling operations.
The idea behind this approach lies in exposing the limits to efficiency improvements and the extent to which operations can be optimised, benchmarked against the reference well-drilling process.
The project, as a whole, can be divided into several components: high-quality planning; the selection of optimal technologies; the implementation of planned operations and works; and the analysis of results and lessons to be learned in order for these to be taken into account in the next production cycle.
The three-year “Technical Limit” programme by 2018 the envisages a
lost time injury frequency rates rates by 50 percent). Most of these goals were completed in 2017.