Gazprom Neft Uses High-End Technologies to Enhance Oil Recovery

A joint team of specialists from Gazpromneft Science and Technology Centre and Gazpromneft-Vostok conducted the first repeated hydraulic fracking* (refrac) at Archinskoe field (Tomsk Region) using specialty chemicals and new-generation polymers. Further rollout of this technique may secure an almost 50% increase in oil production at oil fields with carbonate deposits that make more than 40% of the company’s recoverable reserves.


Fracking at the deposits with carbonate rocks** involves the use of special chemicals that create fractures in the rock bed, and oil travels into the well via these fissures. The longer the fractures, the better its deposit coverage.

The STC and Gazpromneft-Vostok conducted the refrac operation using a gelled acid*** and high-tech polymers. Special formulations help reduce the rate of chemical reaction with the rock, allowing the chemical to infiltrate larger volumes of the oil-bearing bed and thus create longer fractures.

Gazprom Neft engineers have looked into a number of process solutions that suit the conditions of Archinskoe field. After the experimental well treatment, the first month of operations showed that oil recovery has doubled. Experimental fracking with the high-viscosity synthetic thickening polymer will continue at other carbonate deposits of Gazprom Neft.

“Managing hard to recover reserves is one of the key domains in Gazprom Neft’s technological strategy. We are continuously working to improve our existing technologies, employ integrated solutions from different branches of science and keep in mind the specifics of our assets. This holistic approach helps Gazprom Neft remain one of the technological leaders in Russia’s oil and gas sector,” says Mars Khasanov, Head of Gazprom Neft’s Technology Directorate and CEO of Gazpromneft Science and Technology Centre.

Reference

*Hydraulic fracking is a well stimulation technique in which the formation is saturated with a pressurized mixture of water and a special proppant. Injection of the fracking fluid creates fractures in the rock that connect the wellbore and the oil bed and let the oil flow into the well. In case of multistage fracking, several fracking operations are conducted in one horizontal well to significantly increase coverage of the bed with one well.

**Carbonate rocks are beds formed primarily by limestone and dolomite. Carbonate reservoirs are unique in the intricate structure of voids where hydrocarbons are entrapped. Around 60% of global oil reserves today are found in carbonate deposits.

***Gelled acid is a viscous, resilient chemical compound.

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