Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most effective ways of managing reservoirs to increase the production level of an oil field and enhance the oil recovery factor (ORF).

Hydraulic fracturing involves high-pressure injection of liquid mixed with proppant into the formation. Injection of this mixture leads to the development of high-conductivity channels (fractures). These fractures let oil in the reservoir flow into the wellbore, and a substantial area of contact with the rock ensures multiple increase of oil influx. In case of multistage hydraulic fracturing (MSHF), several fracturing operations are carried out in a horizontal wellbore for a significant expansion of well coverage.

Gazprom Neft started extensively building high-tech wells using the MSHF technology at its oil fields in 2011. Today, this technology is used in more than 80% of horizontal wells drilled at the Company’s oil fields. The Company’s Science and Technology Center provides engineering support in hydraulic fracturing projects, and specifically complex operations and jobs associated with introduction of new technologies receive STC’s support at all stages, from engineering to actual implementation in the field.

A successful high-tech fracturing project involves and in-depth and thorough engineering of each individual stage to guarantee optimal efficiency through selection of fracturing parameters for each specific well. STC specialists identify such parameters with the help of computer modeling. STC also develops proprietary software for fracturing efficiency forecasting.

While delivering the Gazprom Neft Technology Strategy, experts from Science and Technology Center continuously work on improving the fracturing techniques. They look for and customize new and more efficient fracturing techniques and test different scenarios of repeated MSHF in horizontal wells.

Gazprom Neft's Science and Technology Center is working in consortium with Russia’s leading universities (Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologySkoltechSt. Petersburg Polytechnic University and Lavrentiev Hydrodynamics Institute at Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences) and with support of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science to develop Russia’s own cutting-edge  fracturing simulator known as CyberFrac. The product features a wide range of computing systems for simulation of key physical processes that occur during hydraulic fracturing, as well as engineering tools for data analysis, preparation and interpretation, monitoring of fracturing operations and technology optimization.