Gazprom Neft builds high-tech horizontal wells of record-breaking lengths in Tazovskoye field, Siberia

Gazprom Neft builds high-tech horizontal wells of record-breaking lengths in Tazovskoye field, SiberiaTazovsky, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russia. February 27, 2019

Gazpromneft-Razvitiye, a Gazprom Neft subsidiary, has drilled high-tech wells with record-breaking lengths of horizontal sections in the Tazovskoye oil-gas-condensate field in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russia, Gazprom Neft reported on February 27, 2019.

Gazprom Neft-Razvitiye completed the construction of the first high-tech production well in February 2018. It was the first well the company had drilled since Gazprom Neft obtained its license for the Tazovskoye field, not the first well constructed in the Tazovskoye field in general. The Tazovskoye and the Severo-Samburgskoye fields have become the setting for the formation of a whole new cluster of wells in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

A total of 13 high-tech wells were built in the Tazovskoye field in 2018, including two multilateral wells with two cased holes, with the lengths of the horizontal sections of each one exceeding 2000 m. The length of one of the horizontal holes is 2263 m, which sets a new record for Gazprom Neft. The Tazovskoye high-tech wells are as technically complex and unique as offshore wells. Using a range of technological solutions that are not typical for standard drilling, including the utilization of high-torque drilling tools, helped drillers achieve record-breaking results in the challenging geological conditions of the Tazovskoye field.

The company plans to use fishbone technology in the field, by which numerous titanium tubes are extended from the horizontal mother bore to create long channels, thereby significantly improving reservoir productivity. The wellbore structure resembles the skeleton of a fish. This technology is an alternative to the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Fishbone technology increases well productivity by improving the connections between the reservoir and the wellbore. Using a much smaller amount of process fluid (an aqueous solution of HCl) significantly reduces the risk of groundwater contamination and the amount of work required for its disposal.

Since the start of the development of the Tazovskoye field by Gazpromneft-Razvitiye, the total production rate has exceeded 100 kt of oil. The full-scale development of the Tazovskoye oil-gas-condensate field is to commence in 2019. During the year, the company plans to drill high-tech wells with horizontal sections with lengths of 2500 m. There will be a total of four drilling rigs in the field. The drilling of 132 oil wells and 10 gas wells is planned during the Tazovskoye field development project. The commissioning of the field and the commencement of the commercial development of the asset are scheduled for 2020. A production plateau of 2.1 Mt is to be achieved in 2021.

The Tazovskoye oil-gas-condensate field is situated in the Tazovsky Area of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, 525 km northeast of Salekhard. The village of Gaz-Sale located 40 km away is the nearest settlement. The field was discovered in 1962 and, at the time of its discovery, had the largest gas reserves of all the fields explored in West Siberia. The initial reserves of the Tazovskoye field are 438 Mt of oil and 186 billion cu m of gas in the free form and in gas caps. The field has been in operation since 1971. Geologically, the Tazovskoye field is confined to the local Pur-Tazovsky Uplift of the Pur-Tazovskaya oil and gas province. Four gas, five gas-oil and three gas-condensate reservoirs have been discovered within the field. The reservoirs are mainly represented by sandstones with lenticular interlayers of clays and limestones.

The potential for the further development of the Tazovskoye field is associated with the development of the reservoir below the gas cap (oil rim). An oil rim is basically the oil part of an oil-gas or oil-gas-condensate reservoir; it is a thin layer of oil between the larger gas cap and the aquifer. Drilling into oil rims is complicated by the high probability of gas and water breakthroughs into oil-producing wells. The characteristics of the Tazovskoye oil itself also add difficulties — it is a very heavy, highly viscous kind of oil, although it has low sulfur content.

During the development of oil rims, Gazpromneft-Razvitiye employs modern materials and technologies which are known to be highly efficient and which allow a significant reduction in the project implementation cycle. The experience and expertise obtained during the development of the Tazovskoye field will be replicated in the near future to other company assets with hard-to-recover reserves, Head of Gazprom Neft’s Major Projects and CEO of Gazpromneft-Razvitiye Denis Sugaipov said.

The world’s longest horizontal well was drilled in 2018 by Rosneft from the Orlan platform at the Chaivo field in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia. The length of the well with a horizontal completion is 15,000 m with a stepout of 14,129 m.

By Aleksei Afonin, Russian Oil & Gas Translation Services


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About The Energy Writer

A geophysicist by education, Aleksei Afonin has worked for 15 years as an offshore geophysical engineer, 13 years as a freelance technical translator, and 5 years as a freelance content writer. He has taken part in hydrographic and seismic survey projects for oil and gas industry leaders such as Shell, British Petroleum, Chevron, Gazprom, and other major companies. Geotechnical, geophysical, and hydrographic surveys are his main areas of expertise.
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