Commercial production starts at Russia’s northernmost active oilfield

21 September 2016

The Gazprom Neft Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field has now been officially commissioned during a ceremony involving Alexei Miller , CEO Gazprom PJSC, Igor Sechin, CEO Rosneft, and Alexander Dyukov, CEO Gazprom Neft PJSC.

The instruction to commence commercial production was given by President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, via video link.

The Vostochno-Messoyakhsky licence block is located on the Gydan peninsula in the Tazovksy district of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug — the closest population centre being the Tazovsky settlement, located 150 kilometres from the field. The project has had to be developed in the absence of pre-existing industrial and transport infrastructure, with 400,000 tonnes of freight being delivered by water transport and ice roads throughout 2015–2016.

The application of cutting-edge technical and engineering solutions has allowed the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field to be developed in less than three years, with 51 oil-producing wells now in operation, as well as a 98-kilometre supply pipeline (loading line) connecting the field to the Zapolyarye—Purpe oil trunk-pipeline, protected from the sub-zero Arctic temperatures by a layer of insulation. The high-viscosity oil of the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field is pre-heated at a central processing facility (CPF) prior to transportation. Two power stations have been constructed at the field and at the crude oil delivery and acceptance point, with a total capacity of over 90MW, meeting all of the field’s energy requirements. Peak production at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field will be reached in 2020, at 5.6 million tonnes.

The complex underlying geology of the field demanded the latest drilling and well-construction techniques in order to maintain reservoir pressure. The main oil-producing strata at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field are terrigenous reservoirs, characterised by extreme discontinuity, both horizontally and in cross-section. Cutting-edge solutions, including the drilling of multilateral wells, were used to  optimise reservoir development.

Special technologies, minimising impacts on the environment of the Arctic, were used throughout field development, with the connecting pipeline, in particular, being laid above ground on special supports, equipped with a thermos-stabilisation system, to preserve long-standing permafrost. Underwater river passes for the oil pipeline were constructed using directional drilling, allowing the natural landscapes of the Indikyakha and Muduiyakha rivers to remain intact. The oil pipeline is supported on joists across water courses in certain places, with special access-routes and throughways available for migrating animals.

Alexei Miller, CEO, Gazprom PJSC, commented: “The development of the Russian Arctic is a strategic priority for Gazprom. We continue to bring new oil and gas fields into development in this inaccessible but hugely promising region, building essential infrastructure. This spring we commissioned the unique Arctic Gates offshore loading terminal for year-round shipments of Yamal crude. And today commercial production has started at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field, the northernmost of Russia’s active onshore oilfields. This new Arctic project will form an important part of Russia’s powerful oil and gas complex in the Polar region.”