Gazprom Neft taps into natural flow of shale oil at new well

29 April 2014

Gazprom Neft has successfully tapped into a natural flow of oil with a flow rate of 50 cubic metres per day at a new well in the Bazheno-Abalaksky formation of the Palyanovskaya zone at the Gazpromneft-KhantosKrasnoleninskoye field. Hydraulic fracturing was employed at the well, which is still being tested.

The well was drilled as part of the Gazprom Neft programme in preparation for the commercial development of unconventional oil reserves. In spring 2013, an appraisal well was drilled at the Palyanovskaya zone to initiate the first phase of the project dedicated to researching the potential for shale oil extraction at the site. This well generated a flow rate of 80 cubic metres per day. These results have led to further study of the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex in the Palyanovskaya zone. To this end, in 2014 four inclined wells were approved for drilling to depths of <nobr>2,700–2,800 metres.</nobr> In addition, conceptual geological modelling of the field and deposit complex is still underway, and an appraisal of potential output will be conducted, along with the research programme, which includes a customized core analysis, geomechanical modelling, and application of data from 3D seismic studies.

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*Shale oil is contained in the Bazhenov, Abalakskaya, and Frolovskaya rock formations in Western Siberia, which have super-low permeability and a high level of oil saturation.

Gazprom Neft has four projects dedicated to investigating shale oil deposits. In addition to their studies on the potential of the Bazheno-Abalaksky complex of the Palyanovskaya zone, Gazprom Neft is also gaining experience in the development of similar reserves through Salym Petroleum Development (SPD), a 50:50 joint venture with Shell. In <nobr>2014–2015,</nobr>SPD drilled five horizontal appraisal wells using multistage fracturing to explore the Bazhenov formation at the Upper Salym field. In addition, in 2013, a second joint venture between Gazprom Neft and Shell was created: the Khanty-Mansi Oil and Gas Union (St. Petersburg). The company is conducting geological research on the Yuilsk-4, Yuilsk-5, and South Lungorsky-1 sites in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. Moreover, in March 2014, Gazpromneft-Khantos, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, was granted a licence to carry out geological exploration of the deep oil-saturated prospective horizons in the Achimov and Bazhenov formations of the southern Priobskoye field.