Gazprom Neft expands W. Siberia shale oil research

Gazprom Neft has approved the continued study of shale oil reserves at the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex of the Palyanovskaya zone at Krasnoleninskoye field, which is being developed in Russia by Gazpromneft-Khantos.

The project’s new phase involves drilling four inclined wells to a depth of 2,700-2,800 m. Drilling will start by yearend and be completed by summer 2014.

Gazprom Neft completed tests on the first appraisal well drilled in the Palyanovskaya zone to study the Bazheno-Abalaksky stratum in spring 2013. The well flowed oil at a rate of 80 cu m/day.

Based on these results Gazprom Neft was able to draw up a conceptual model of the field and reserves in the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex as well as plan further development of the site and define locations for the new appraisal and production wells to be drilled near the existing well.

Results taken from the four new wells will support a more extensive study to determine the feasibility of developing the fields at the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex and help refine the geological model of the layer and its potential output. In autumn 2014 Gazprom Neft will consider whether it should move on to the next stage, which is drilling commercial production wells on this site.

Vadim Yakovlev, Gazprom Neft first deputy chief executive officer, said, “Gazprom Neft’s strategy to 2025 is to maintain its reserves-to-production ratio at a 20-year level. This means we have to increase our resource base and developing nontraditional reserves, for example, bringing the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex on stream.”

Gazprom Neft noted that in Western Siberia shale oil is contained in the Bazhenovskaya, Abalakskaya, and Frolovskaya formations that have ultralow porosity but high hydrocarbon content.

The company has shot 2D and 3D seismic in the Palyanovskaya zone. The reserves in the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex were found when drilling 25 appraisal and 10 production wells for conventional oil. Pilot work began in the Palyanovskaya zone in autumn 2012, when five wells were recommissioned. Gazprom Neft then started drilling an appraisal well in the northeastern part of the Palyanovskaya zone.

Assessing the potential of the Palyanovskaya zone is Gazprom Neft’s second shale oil exploration project. The company has experience in this area from its joint venture with Shell-Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) (OGJ Online, Oct. 25, 2007). Specialists at Gazprom Neft, Shell, and SPD have produced a road map that defines the stages in the development of the Bazhenov formation of the Verkhne-Salymskoye oil field in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District.

In April Gazprom Neft and Shell signed an agreement to set up a joint venture looking at new projects to explore and develop shale oil reserves in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District.

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