New Gazprom Neft non-traditional and hard-to-recover reserves innovation centre opens in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra

New Gazprom Neft non-traditional and hard-to-recover reserves innovation centre opens in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra

Gazpromneft-Technology Partnerships has opened new laboratories at its Core Research Centre in Khanty-Mansiysk. This project, total investment in which now stands at RUB1.3 billion, will create Russia’s most cutting-edge facility for investigations and testing on “hard-to-recover-oil” strata samples, and is accelerating research into technologies for developing the Bazhenov Formation.

High-quality core-sample preparation for further investigations, as well as a range of specialist research activities — including 3D photographic surveys and tomography, permeability investigations, acoustic and magnetic property investigations, gamma-ray logging and other specialist procedures — are being undertaken at these new laboratories. One thousand metres of core samples were analysed on behalf of Gazprom Neft and other companies in the industry throughout 2020.

Six high-tech laboratories — covering reservoir-fluid investigations, geochemistry, lithology, petrophysics, sample preparation, and specialist investigations — are now in operation at the Core Research Centre. A further three are expected to open in 2021 — covering geomechanics, fracking and proppants, and thermodynamic investigations. The Centre will be equipped with more than 80 pieces of advanced equipment, in total, including scanners, spectrometers, litho-scanners, and tomographs, which will not only make it possible to collect comprehensive information on the structure and properties of hard-to-recover reserves, but will also increase the accuracy of those measurements on which the quality of building geological, petrophysical and seismic models depends.

Gazprom Neft is developing its Core Research Centre in conjunction with the V.I. Shpilman Research and Analytical Centre for the Rational Use of the Subsoil, and the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. The Core Research Centre’s first laboratories began operating in 2018. The Centre’s establishment in Khanty-Mansyisk is due to the high concentration of non-traditional hydrocarbon reserves in the region, meaning investigations can be undertaken in the immediate vicinity of the fields.

“Non-traditional reserves represent a strategic bet for Gazprom Neft. We are faced with the task of designing tools to develop the Bazhenov Formation, Achimovsky strata, and Paleozoic deposits, profitably. Every year we fine-tune the approaches we take on these reserves, developing research methodologies, adapting complex production technologies and developing advanced solutions — and these new laboratories at the Core Research Centre are the next step down that road. Developing research tools will allow the company not only to address the key tasks involved in investigating new license blocks, but also to develop new technologies based on the data obtained.” — Director for Technological Development, Gazprom Neft Alexey Vashkevich.
“Gazprom Neft takes a systemic approach in working with non-traditional reserves, which is why detailed and comprehensive investigations are always front of mind. Establishing innovative core research laboratories opens up access to unique data on non-traditional reservoirs and oil-bearing strata. This information will make it possible to develop a consistent methodology for estimating Bazhenov reserves — something the entire industry is interested in at the moment. Our next job is to create a scientific school of work at the Research Centre — to which end we have, ahead of this, approached the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Skoltech, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with regard to specialist training for research staff.” — Director General, Gazpromneft — Technology Partnerships Kirill Strizhnev.

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