Gazprom Neft develops the industry’s first digital model of the Achimovsky strata

The Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, together with specialists from Gazpromneft-Angara, have developed the first ever digital model of the Achimovsky strata, revealing 10 promising zones with resource potential in excess of 34 billion tonnes of hydrocarbons.* This digital model will form the basis behind strategy for developing hard-to-recover reserves in the Achimovsky strata.

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Acreage in Western Siberia, covering six regions of the Russian Federation, and a total 1.5 million square kilometres, was studied as part of the project, revealing 183,000 square kilometres of promising areas for further analysis, with data from more than 3,800 wells being collected in that time. Gazprom Neft developed and utilised new algorithms for processing large volumes of data in order to analyse the most significant volumes of geological data ever collected in the industry, on which an inter-regional map of the Achimovsky deposits has been collated, indicating potential resources of 34.4 billion tonnes of oil and gas. An integrated map of the potential of under-researched Achimovsky strata was also compiled, for the first time.

The digital model covers in detail several regions and is made up of more than 150 maps and plans, on which promising zones have been identified. The “digital twin” of the Achimovsky deposits is a universal tool for analysing fields in Western Siberia: using the information collected and the methodologies worked out, this digital solution will form the basis for putting together the strategy for the subsequent viable development of the Achimovsky deposits.

Mars Khasanov, Head of Gazprom Neft’s Technology Directorate and CEO of the Science and Technology Centre, commented: “Creating digital models on this scale is comparable, in its scientific intensity, to developing computer simulations of the most complex physical processes. Scientists handle massive volumes of data, and have to take millions of parameters and inter-connections into account. Digital models of fields and oil and gas basins are complex products that testify to the company’s advanced technological development.”

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* The Achimovsky strata are located in the lower part of Cretaceous (chalk) deposits almost directly above the oil-bearing Bazhen Formation (strata in Western Siberia, lying at a depth of two to three kilometres). The Achimovsky strata occur throughout the central zone of the West Siberian basin, with the thickest strata found in the Nadymsky and Purovsky Districts of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The Achimovsky strata are characterised by a complex geological structure, necessitating the use of technologically complex techniques in their development.

Various geological models have been developed by the Science and Technology Centre since 2007, with approximately 30 substantive models having been produced at various times, including areas within Russia and abroad, both onshore and offshore, and of varying extent, detail and area of focus (for example, on the Bazhen Formation exclusively). The Science and Technology Centre utilises a range of proven, modern methodologies and technologies based on geophysical approaches and data, as well as more progressive computer-modelling techniques (seismic-geological, sedimentary and basin research). The trend in recent years — and which distinguishes the new model — is the use of Big Data analysis techniques, together with machine learning. The creation of unique “digital twins” of fields, strata or oil-or gas-bearing basins makes it possible to improve accuracy and efficiency in both geological prospecting and subsequent asset development.

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