Gazprom Neft becomes first company in Russia to complete unique geotechnical operation

17 September 2013

For the first time in Russia, a horizontal well came on-stream following a ten-stage hydraulic fracturing at Gazprom Neft’s Vyngapur field (run by Gazpromneft Noyabrskneftegaz). Up until now, the highest number of hydraulic fracturing stages Gazprom Neft had performed on an individual wellbore of a horizontal well had been eight. The company had first accomplished this in June 2013, also at Vyngapur field. 

The depth of the new well is nearly 4,500 meters, and the length of the horizontal section is over 1,000 meters. There was an additional difficulty in the operations performed. The formation through which the horizontal section of the well was drilled was only four meters thick. Moreover, the effective horizontal well length (i.e. the section of the well that penetrates the oil-containing formation without coming into contact with surrounding rock) reaches 90 percent, which is above average even for wells with shorter horizontal wellbores.

The flow rate obtained at the well is over 135 tons per day, which exceeds the results obtained at horizontal wells with a lower number of hydraulic fracturing stages by approximately one third.

Drilling horizontal wells with multistage hydraulic fracturing makes it possible to expand the producing area of the reservoir and increase the flow rates of wells drilled in low-permeability horizons classified as tight reserves. Gazprom Neft adopted an operations program for this category of reserves in 2012. The company plans to bring 60 million tons of tight reserves into development by 2015, and that number should rise to 300 million tons by 2020.

The conduct of multistage hydraulic fracturing at Gazpromneft Noyabrskneftegaz made it possible for the enterprise to raise its production volume during the first half of 2013 by 6 percent over the volume produced during the first half of 2012, up to 4.4 million tons. A total of 57 new wells were commissioned during the last six months, forty of which are horizontal wells with multistage hydraulic fracturing. Gazprom Neft is using multistage hydraulic fracturing at seven fields, and is studying the feasibility of applying this method in other areas.

“Gazprom Neft is actively applying technologies that make it possible to enhance the development of our assets and which are adapted to those assets’ individual peculiarities. We are constantly studying the innovative production methods, adapting them, and implementing them at our fields. This includes a large scale use of multistage hydraulic fracturing. However, increasing the number of hydraulic fracturing stages is not an end in itself. The main task remains to determine the most productive and economically justified production methods at each individual asset,” commented Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev.