Mirny, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), September 2 – IA Neftegaz.RU Within recent years Eastern Siberia has been confirming the title of the prospective oil&gas region. The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Mirny District in particular becomes not only a diamond region, but also an oil region. Large subsoil users, such as Gazprom, Rosneft and Surgutneftegas, as well as small companies, which nevertheless confidently occupy a significant market share, work here.
RNG is one of such companies, which due to dynamic development and launch of new facilities in 2019 will become the second largest oil company in Mirny district and the third largest company in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Neftegaz.RU reporter has witnessed how the company reached a new stage of development.
The event was timed to coincide with the First Republican Oil&Gas Forum held in Mirny. The symbolic valve in honour of the field launch was turned by A. Nikolaev, Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), R. Yuzmukhamedov, Head of Mirny district, and N. Pinchuk, member of the Board of Directors of RNG.
The Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF are the main asset of RGN and the first field launched into commercial operation. Confirmed recoverable oil reserves within the license area amount to 28 million tons, gas reserves – to 14.3 billion m3.
The commissioning of the field was preceded by a great amount of works, which was carried out in a very short time and under extremely difficult conditions. Yakutia is a challenging region in terms of climate, distance and transport accessibility. In addition, geological challenges of the Srednebotuobinskoye OGCF made the task for RNG even more difficult.
As N. Pinchuk explained, compared to the Srednebotuobinskoye OGCF, fields of Western Siberia are significantly less challenging. Here, gas pressure in the gas cap is higher than in the oil reservoir, which greatly complicates the drilling process due to formation of so-called breakthrough gas that comes out with oil. High gas factor is one of the main complications in the process of field development, which requires special attention and enhanced monitoring.
The wells are maintained in a condition that prevents gas inrushes, continuous monitoring is carried out and preventive measures are taken. Significant complications are also associated with asphalt, resin and paraffin deposits (ARPD), which are controlled by mechanical cleaning of wells, hot treatment and treatment with anti-ARPD chemicals.
Enhanced oil recovery at the Eastern blocks of SB OGCF is provided by consistent development of the reservoir pressure maintenance system (RPM) by injecting water into the reservoir. Whereat, wells drilled at the well pad are first drilled for oil and then switched to the injection mode, increasing oil recovery and production volumes at other wells in the well pad.
RNG actively studies, tests and introduces new technologies, and the company's practice shows that innovative solutions are available not only to large holdings. Thus, at the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF the Fishbone technology is applied, which has been actively implemented by such giants as Rosneft and Gazprom Neft. The name of the technology is related to the design feature of wells, when multiple branches run from one horizontal wellbore, which makes the well look like a fish skeleton (fishbone). This approach allows increasing the productivity of the well by better connection of the reservoir to the wellbore.
The use of this technology despite its high cost justifies itself making it possible to achieve 3 times higher flow rates from the well than expected. RNG also considers other innovative solutions available in the market, both in the global and Russian markets, implementing them depending on the need and results of pilot operation.
Currently, 42 production wells, mostly grouped in clusters, and 9 injection wells are operated at the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF. 7 well pads are operated, another 4 well pads are currently drilled and constructed. The average depth of wells at the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF is about 2 thousand meters with a horizontal wellbore about 700 m long. In general, the field development project involves construction of 70 production wells. The required infrastructure has been created to ensure hydrocarbon production at the field, specifically: central oil gathering facility, oil gathering networks, water intake and conduits, reservoir pressure maintenance systems, high-voltage power lines. Produced oil will be directed to the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline system.
RNG managed to implement the project within very tough time frames. Over the past 4 years, all required infrastructure for oil production and transportation was built at the field. According to A. Uskov, Deputy General Director – Head of Capital Construction Department (RNG), this was facilitated by the approach chosen by the company during the project implementation. RNG did not rely on any construction contractor and formed its own construction and installation group. This approach enabled project implementation on a turnkey basis by own efforts, strictly monitoring the progress of work and compliance with deadlines. After completion of the main construction at the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF in 2018, this discipline was developed into a separate subsidiary, which is engaged in implementation of major construction projects in Yakutia, including on government contracts.
RNG development plans are related to preparation of the infrastructure for further increase of production at the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF and development of new license areas. In 2019 RNG expects to produce about 900 thousand tons of oil, and to reach more than one million tons per year in 2020 and to maintaining this level for 8 years. The company is also considering the possibility to increase production up to 1.5 million tons per year, but the throughput capacity of the pipeline used to supply oil to the ESPO system is still limited.
Besides the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF, EASTSIB HOLDING Group (which includes RNG) currently has 6 license areas, the most prospective of which is Yuzhno-Syuldyukarsky license area. According to A. Uskov, the forecast hydrocarbon reserves in this area are very high, based on core studies results the height of the oil-saturated layer exceeds 8 m. Drilling is currently ongoing in this area and reserves are being assessed. The field can be commissioned within the next 3-4 years. In the future, RNG aims to actively develop new license areas. Thus, in his speech at the ceremony of commissioning of the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF, N. Pinchuk shared the plans for commissioning of new facilities at least once every two years.
The gas program is a separate area for development of the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF. Currently, gas produced at the field after treatment is supplied to the 5 MW power complex (5 gas reciprocating units, 1 MW each), which supplies electricity to the field's auxiliaries. Gas is also used in the gas-lift system, which provides liquid lifting to the surface using the energy of gas mixed with the pressurized liquid. RNG is also constructing an automotive gas filling compressor station (AGFCS) for conversion of machinery, operating at the field, to gas motor fuel (GMF). The facility is scheduled to be launch at the end of October 2019. This is a very important point for development of Yuzhno-Syuldyukarsky area, which oil will be transported by GMF-using motor vehicles at the first stage, which will reduce transportation costs.
At the same time, RNG considers the social responsibility of the business as an important part of its activities, working closely with the local population, primarily with the residents and administration of Tas-Yuryakh village. RNG built a bridge over the Taas-Yuraykh river, assists in the construction of a kindergarten, improves rural streets and the territory around the school. And these are only several though very vivid examples of social and economic partnership between RNG and the administration for the benefit of local residents. Company’s activities for environmental protection are closely connected with this direction. An example is a landfill for solid municipal and industrial waste, which is ready to serve both the field and Tas-Yuryakh village.
A visit to the facilities at the Eastern blocks of Srednebotuobinskoye OGCF and in Tas-Yuryakh village contributed to forming the opinion about RNG. Young company, which has overcome serious difficulties. Dynamically developing with significant long-term plans. Flexible and adaptive to the changing conditions. Socially responsible ans very open company. Entering a new stage of development with the commissioning of the Eastern Blocks of SB OGCF, RNG is in line with all current trends in the fuel and energy sector – from construction of high-tech wells to GMF introduction, selecting the most appropriate solutions.