Geological prospecting and oilfield development
The company is developing projects grouped into large clusters on the Yamal Peninsula, in Eastern and Western Siberia, in the Orenburg Oblast, as well as through joint ventures with foreign partners.
In 2019, Gazprom Neft expanded its resource base primarily through organic growth at its existing assets. This involved drilling 59 exploration wells (including joint ventures). The total drilling in 2019 (including joint ventures and projects) reached 167.7 kilometres. According to Russian assessment standards, the success rate for exploration drilling in 2019 was 76%.
Two-dimensional (2D) seismic surveys covered 15,757 linear kilometres in 2019 – a 2.9-fold increase on 2018 – including 14,377 kilometres offshore, with a record volume of seismic surveys undertaken in the Arctic (the Chukchi Sea) using only one vessel without icebreaking support and covering 8,377 kilometres. Three-dimensional (3D) seismic surveys covered 3,886 square kilometres, including 515 square kilometres offshore.
The “Yuzhny Yamal (Southern Yamal)” is one of the key exploration projects in the YaNAO initially comprising the Surovy and Yuzhno-Novoportovsky licence blocks. In December 2019, the scope of the project was expanded following Gazprom Neft’s success in the licensing round for the Khambateysky licence block. In 2019, 2D seismic investigations were undertaken at the Yuzhno-Novoportovsky licence block. In 2020, a 2D seismic survey will be conducted at the Surovy licence block and, in 2021, field geological exploration will start at the Khambateyskoye field.
More than 12 million tonnes of ARCO (Arctic) oil have now been produced over the six years in which the Prirazlomnaya platform has been in continuous operation, with 19 wells having been drilled. Three further wells will be built and commissioned at Russia’s first ever project on the Russian Arctic Shelf in 2020.
A key area in Gazprom Neft's development strategy is its engagement in oil-rim development. The company has both the latest technologies and extensive competencies, as well as valuable experience in developing such complex reserves.
The reporting year of 2019 marked an important milestone in the development of Gazprom Neft's projects at the assets of its parent company, Gazprom Group. Currently, Gazprom Neft-Zapolyarye LLC is developing nine fields on the basis of long-term risk operator agreements, with subsoil rights to these fields being owned by Gazprom PJSC and its subsidiaries.
Accordingly, the Nadym-Pur-Tazovsky region comprises a whole complex of field oil-rims united by a single infrastructure. The fields currently being developed include Pestsovoye, En-Yakhinskoye and Zapadno-Tarkosalinskoye, with exploration activities under way at the Yamburgskoye field. Furthermore, in July 2019 Gazprom Neft secured development rights to the Urengoyskoye field and Achimov gas-condensate deposits at the Pestsovoye field.
Of those projects mentioned above, Yamburg is set to become the largest new project in the Arctic; estimated oil reserves of the Achimov deposits within the licence block exceed four billion tonnes. Gazpromneft-Zapolyarye LLC has concluded long-term risk-based operatorship agreements with Gazprom subsidiaries; these have enabled the company to start developing the Achimovsky strata at the Yamburgskoye oil and gas-condensate field, as well as oil-rim deposits at the Pestsovoye and En-Yakhinskoye fields. The company plans to start developing oil-rim deposits at the Pestsovoye and En-Yakhinskoye fields at the end of 2021, and the start of commercial hydrocarbon production from the Achimovsky strata at the Yamburgskoye field is scheduled for 2024 or 2025. Annual production volumes could reach up to 10 mtoe.
In Eastern Siberia, Gazprom Neft is developing a new production cluster where a key element will be an oil deposit at the Chayandinskoye oil and gas-condensate field in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). This field is unique in terms of the size of its reserves in place, estimated at 263 mt. The Chayandinskoye field, at the same time, is characterised by a complex geological structure, with the presence of a gas cap and exceptionally low formation pressure and temperatures.
The company is developing the oil rim at this field under an operating agreement with Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk (a subsidiary of Gazprom that holds the licence for the field). This subsidiary is currently developing the gas portion at this asset and Gazprom Neft intends to develop the oil portion. In late 2019, Gazprom Neft moved into pilot development of the field, and dispatched the first batch of marketable oil. Full-scale development of this oil-rim will continue in 2020. The central processing facility (CPF) which has a planned capacity of one million tonnes per year, is expected to be expanded and modernised by 2022.
The Gazprom Neft Group’s projects are managed on a turnkey basis by the Gazpromneft-GEO Competency Centre, which is implementing about 20 projects. Its task is to enable the company to continuously replenish its resource base with viable reserves, and to maximise the efficiency of equity financing.
The Gazpromneft-GEO approach to exploration is based on:
- managing a portfolio of major exploration projects;
- concentrating financial and managerial exploration resources in a single centre;
- optimising the transition of prepared business cases for further development; and
- assessing each project in terms of geology and investment attractiveness, taking into account the specifics of logistics, infrastructure and technological complexity.
Gazpromneft-GEO has put in place a matrix-based organisational model that best matches the specifics and challenges of geological exploration. This structure enables Gazpromneft-GEO to manage employees’ workloads efficiently, form project teams quickly when initiating new exploration projects, and apply accumulated knowledge and best practices in all exploration projects in the company portfolio.
Improving the efficiency of geological exploration depends largely on the development of employees ’ skills. 2019 saw the launch of the GEO Academy, a training project for exploration specialists. This is a multilevel integrated environment for competency development; it includes a system that enables specialists, experts, methodologists and supervisors to share experience in this professional area.
PROJECT PORTFOLIO – FUTURE OUTLOOK
Oil rim reservesUnder long-term risk operatorship agreements with Gazprom.
Neocomian-Jurassic depositsUnder long-term risk operatorship agreements with Gazprom.
Achimovsky strataUnder long-term risk operatorship agreements with Gazprom.