Unconventional Reserves

Unconventional hydrocarbon reserves development, including Bazhen suite reserves, is one of the focal points of Gazprom Neft’s Technological Strategy. STC coordinates the issues of Bazhen suite studies and planning of pilot operations with the use of advanced technologies for drilling and development of these deposits.

To investigate the viable potential of the Bazhen is a paramount strategic objective for the country. According to different estimates, the Bazhen reserves vary from 600 mln tons to 174 bln tons. Nevertheless, cost-effective development of these reserves is nearly not being carried out at this time — producers are only trying to pick the best technologies to start development of the Bazhen suite.

Unconventional Reserves

Technological Competence Center is one of the STC’s units that designs, tests and evaluates new Bazhen suite survey technologies. As part of the Development of Unconventional Reserves business area of the Technological Strategy, Technological Competence Center is designing a technique of forecasting potential hydrocarbon saturation of Bazhen deposits, which will help identify the most interesting areas from the economic standpoint. Moreover, STC specialists develop new hydraulic fracturing techniques, since conventional fracturing methods have not demonstrated the desired efficiency level for Bazhen suite. Another major project is the development of the process of hydrocarbons production from Bazhen suite. Within the context of this project, STC specialists are looking for new ways to accelerate generation of hydrocarbons in unconventional reservoirs.

Gazprom Neft undertakes intensive examination of Bazhen deposits at a number of the company’s assets, including Yuzhno-Priobskoye and Krasnoleninskoye fields in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. Survey results confirmed that Bazhen suite has areas with mobile oil reserves. The first horizontal well for Bazhen suite studies was drilled at the end of 2015.

STC also acts as an industrial partner in the federal program for integrated research of Bazhen suite, which is intended for additional evaluation of its properties and selection of prospective technologies. The project’s operator is Engineering Center of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), the winner in the contest of scientific research projects of national importance of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science under the federal program Research in Priority Areas of Russia’s Research and Development Sector in 2014-2020.

The research program scheduled to last until the end of 2016 is expected to yield geological, hydrodynamic and geomechanical 3D computer models of deposits, build databases with key parameters of such models, and draft guidelines for evaluation of reserves and further development. Other participants of this project include the Geology Department of Moscow State University, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, and Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech). Playing the role of industrial partner in the project, Gazprom Neft provides co-funding and experts for evaluation of results.