‘Unconventional’ reserves are the hydrocarbons that occur in complex geological environments and require new, unorthodox, approaches to exploration and production.

The Bazhenov formation is a case in point. Its development is one of unconventional reserves operations conducted by Gazprom Neft. The Bazhenov formation stretches across an area of over 1 million square kilometers, and its resource potential is estimated at 760 million tons of recoverable reserves. A unique feature of the Bazhenov formation, which makes it commercially viable, is its saturation with high quality, light, low-sulfur, easy-to-process oil.

The uniqueness of the Bazhenov formation calls for a radical change in the field development methods and a totally different technology portfolio. Seeking cost-effective techniques to develop the Bazhenov formation is a national priority. Gazprom Neft and the Administration of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug -Yugra signed an agreement to set up a regional Bazhen Technology Center in 2017. This industrial site will bring together the efforts of oil & gas and service companies, the research community, investors and the government, and will consolidate advanced competencies and technologies needed to come up with cost-effective methods to develop the Bazhenov formation. The Russian Ministry of Energy has granted the Gazprom Neft's project a national status. 

Another dimension of Gazprom Neft's long-term program is the project of prospecting for pre-Jurassic potential targets. These are unique rocks forming oil and gas bearing areas in Western Siberia featuring geological structural complexity. Pre-Jurassic reservoirs are known for their heterogeneity and fragmentation which makes their cost-effective development much more challenging. The Tomsk region has been picked as a testing ground to fine tune the geological exploration techniques because the major pre-Jurassic reserves developed by Gazpromneft-Vostok are concentrated there. 

Additionally, the Company has carried out a region-wide assessment to spot potential targets for testing and adapting technologies for the development of unconventional reserves contained in the Domanic formations. These are the main oil source rocks constituting the Volga-Ural basin that sprawls over an area exceeding 500 thousand km2