Gazprom Neft has begun investigating reserves at the Bazhenov formation* at Vyngayakhinskoye field, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (a project currently being implemented by Gazpromneft-Muravlenko). Marking the company’s first foray into the investigation of unconventional reserves (a category that includes the Bazhenov formation) Gazprom Neft has, hitherto, been concentrating on identifying the most viable technologies to develop the Bazhenov deposit, most of which is located within the Khanty Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug.**
Late 2015 saw Gazprom Neft undertake hydraulic fracking at Bazhenov strata of Vyngayakhinskoye field via two directional wells previously used for oil production from traditional reservoirs, albeit passing through the strata of the Bazhenov deposit. Hydraulic fracking undertaken at both wells saw oil inflow obtained. A prospecting directional well was also drilled, to allow the direct investigation and development of reserves at the Bazhenov formation, with a 90-metre well core sample obtained during drilling, for further laboratory analysis. This well is expected to be used for hydraulic fracking shortly.
Work on unconventional reserves is a priority area for strategic development within Gazprom Neft. The Bazhenov deposits are widely distributed throughout Western Siberia, and their development — within a region of already developed infrastructure — could, in the future, become a new area of production growth. Several initiatives in working with unconventional reserves are being implemented as part of Gazprom Neft’s Technology Strategy. Priorities here include the development of the first simulation software for the modelling of hydraulic fracking at the Bazhenov deposits, and the development of technology for forecasting hydrocarbon saturation (i.e., oil- and gas-bearing capacity) therein, allowing to identify the most promising blocks. Under the auspices of this initiative, Gazprom Neft is working on developing a map outlining the distribution and characteristics of unconventional reserves throughout Russia.
Vadim Yakovlev, First Deputy CEO and Head of Upstream Division, Gazprom Neft, commented: “We continue to build on our experience in investigating the Bazhenov formation. Starting this new project at the Vyngayakhinskoye field will give us a better understanding of how unconventional reserves can be better incorporated into commercial production. Opening up this formation — which, thus far, remains practically undeveloped — will, in the future, make a considerable contribution to oil production and extend the life of our fields. It is for this reason that work with unconventional resources remains one of the key areas of focus of our Technology Strategy.