* The Alexander Zhagrin field is a key asset in a new oil cluster being developed in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug—Yugra. With resource potential estimated at more than 840 million tonnes, this is Gazprom Neft’s fastest-developing project. The Alexander Zhagrin field was discovered in 2017, and went into commercial development in 2019. The field is now equipped with cluster pads, oil gathering in-field flow lines, a separation unit, the first power complex, power supply lines, and road transport infrastructure. Construction of oil transportation infrastructure is nearing completion. The millionth tonne of liquid hydrocarbon was produced at the field in 2020. Peak production is expected to be reached in 2024, at 6.5 million tonnes of oil per year.
Gazprom Neft develops a digital twin of its Alexander Zhagrin field
A team of specialists from company subsidiary Gazpromneft-Khantos and the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre studied more than 20 scenarios before selecting the optimum strategy for developing this asset over the next three years. On which basis, 87 new wells are due to be drilled, and 90 more commissioned — 69 of these being horizontal wells — in 2021. Forecasts suggest about 2.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) will be produced at the field by the end of this year. Using an integrated model of the Alexander Zhagrin field is expected to deliver an economic benefit in the order of around RUB1 billion to end-2023.
The digital twin of the field consists of various modules that make it possible to see all infrastructure facilities, in operation, and reproduce the entire production process at each asset, accurately, in a virtual environment. Each system module is responsible for separate production processes — production, transportation, reservoir pressure maintenance, oil treatment and processing, and so on. On that basis, the production module, for example, collects, systemizes and analyses well data, with a special programme analysing this, identifying potential deviations, and forecasting daily production volumes for each well, putting forward optimum scenarios for changing operating parameters in the event of any deviation from planned volumes.
This digital twin of the model processes enormous volumes of data quickly, and to a high standard, putting forward optimum solutions for complex production tasks on the basis of the data analysed. Operating the system is handled by a cross-functional team of specialists from the Gazpromneft-Khantos Production Control Centre (PCC).
“A field today is a complex set of interconnected systems — strata, wells, surface infrastructure and oil treatment facilities. For this to work effectively we have to take the interdependent impacts of all components into account. Working out how to deal with this complex problem is helped by developing a digital twin — a computer model of the entire, massive system, able to predict how it is going to behave, going forward. An integrated model like this means you can test and verify various hypotheses, put together a variety of potential asset development scenarios, and select the best of these for implementation.” – Director for Technological Development, Gazprom Neft Alexey Vashkevich.
“Technological modelling, and developing digital twins, means we can improve forecasting quality and industrial safety, and determine the optimum strategy for asset development — thereby significantly increasing efficiency in implementing our most promising project in south—west Yugra.” – CEO Gazpromneft-Khantos Sergei Fedorov.