No. 3, 2012


Oil of Russia magazine talks to Viktor Shkandratov, Cand. Sc.(Tech.), Deputy General Director of LUKOIL-Engineering, Director of KogalymNIPIneft

The R&D complex of LUKOIL'S Geological Exploration and Production business segment has now been consolidated under the auspices of LUKOIL-Engineering. The Company has thus created an opportunity for developing even faster, since creation of a multi-profile comprehensive territorial engineering company allows promising ideas and developments to be brought together, innovations and advanced technologies to be introduced at a rapid pace.

In order to improve the quality of R&D works and production efficiency, functions and regions of activity have been redistributed between LUKOIL-Engineering and its branches and profile centers set up. One key branch of the company's R&D complex is KogalymNIPIneft in Tyumen.

Q: What is the scope of the work performed today by the Institute for LUKOIL?

A: The Institute's main spheres of activity are research and development, design and survey works in the sphere of geological exploration, drilling, fit out and development of oil, gas and oil-and-gas condensate fields, as well as educational work. KogalymNIPIneft is currently responsible for scientific support for the production activities of LUKOIL enterprises in the Western Siberian region in accordance with the core business of LUKOIL-Western Siberia (the Company's biggest oil and gas production holding) and LUKOIL-Engineering.

By the way, the KogalymNIPIneft branch in Tyumen, as the subdivision resolving issues most effectively in the sphere of well construction and completion, has been determined as the profile Center for "Well construction design" within LUKOIL-Engineering.

Q: To what extent is KogalymNIPIneft's experience in demand in other R&D institutes of LUKOIL? Does your Institute, in its turn, use developments by other LUKOIL-Engineering branches?

A: We have accumulated sound experience of joint work with LUKOIL-Engineering (Moscow) on processing and interpreting seismic data from specific exploration targets in Western Siberia and the Timan-Pechora oil- and gas-bearing province, developing and introducing into practice new technologies for inversion transformation of seismic data, geomechanics simulation and interpretation of multi-component observations.

In its regional branches, LUKOIL-Engineering uses our experience of performing formation hydraulic fracturing and, in particular, a new sphere   multi-zone formation hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells.

It is now planned to roll out to other fields of LUKOIL-Western Siberia and other oil and gas production enterprises, such as in LUKOIL-Perm and LUKOIL-Komi, the geological information system for processing field development data (GIS UDOM) developed by Kogalymneftegaz and first introduced at fields in the Timan-Pechora province.

Another example is introduction of the dual completion unit developed by KogalymNIPIneft specialists, which is planned for introduction at LUKOIL-Komi fields this year.

Q: What do you see as the Institute's most significant achievements in recent years?

A: In the field of geology, I would mention the following. We estimated the reserves of 9 LUKOIL-Western Siberia oil fields (the Uryevskoye, Kechimovskoye, Nivagalskoye, Severo-Gubkinskoye, Prisklonovoye, Poka-chevskoye, Potanay-Kartopinskoye, Yuzhno-Pokachevskoye and Pyakyakhinskoye) and defended our results before the State Commission for Mineral Reserves of the Russian Federation. Reserve estimation and oil recovery factor feasibility study materials have been submitted to the State Reserves Commission for the Potochnoye, Yuzhno-Tarasovskoye and Danilovskoye oil fields.

Justification has been provided for an increase in 1 reserves of oil and condensate totaling 20.5 million tons of oil and 35.9 billion m3 of gas. Recorded on the state balance sheet for the first time were reserves of oil and of gas for one field (the Yuzhno-Eityanskoye) and 10 formations with aggregate category 1+2 reserves of 3.6 million tons of oil and condensate and 36.0 billion m3 of gas. In accordance with the task set by the Company, KogalymNIPIneft has also performed audits of the reserves of LUKOIL-Western Siberia oil fields.

For the purpose of preparing new exploration sites for placement of exploratory wells and specifying the geological structure of oil fields under development, field work supervising services were rendered and work performed to process and interpret the results of seismics for 10 sites: 3D over an area of 2.2 thousand km2 and 2D - 700 line km. In addition, the results were processed and reinterpreted of 3D seismics covering an area of 28 thousand km2 and 2D seismics - 82 thousand line km. Preparations were made for prospecting and exploratory drilling at 47 sites with aggregate category 3 reserves of oil of 204 million tons and gas reserves of 16 billion m3.

We prepared a feasibility study for location of prospecting and exploratory drilling on LUKOIL-Western Siberia sectors for 2012- 2014 with respect to 84 wells with an anticipated additions of 31.5 million tons to oil reserves and 64.8 billion m3 to gas reserves.

Our Institute drew up 3 projects for prospecting and exploratory works for the Novoortyagunsky, Ikilorsky and Severo-Vatyegansky license sectors and 4 projects for detailed field appraisal for the Povkhovskoye, Svobodnoye, Yarkoye and Yuzhno-Yarkoye oil fields and the Ubinsky license sector.

We have performed work to develop a feasibility study for starting up 20 new sectors offered for subsoil tender, as well as to update the feasibility studies for 30 sites, on the basis of tasks set by LUKOIL-Western Siberia.

We perform the full scope of processing and interpretation of the results of seismics, field geophysical and hydro-dynamic studies of wells, core and formation fluids for the purpose of justifying the location and assessing the effectiveness of geological exploration works, providing for efficient planning and monitoring of oil field development.

Finally, we are introducing on an industrial scale geological support for construction of horizontal wells and drilling of lateral holes at LUKOIL-Western Siberia oil fields. During 2011, we provided geological support (in on-line regime) for construction of 288 horizontal wells and drilling of lateral holes.

In the sphere of oil field development, we have also carried out a considerable amount of work. For instance, all LUKOIL-Western Siberia oil fields have been supplied with design documentation for development and geological-hydrodynamic simulators have been created and updated for them. Design works for unique oil fields (the Vatyeganskoye, Povkhovs-koye and Tevlinsko-Russkinskoye) have been performed and defended before the Central Commission for Reserves.

As a result of creation and processing of a seismic data supercube of the Kechimovskoye oil field, a chart has been developed, from the range of different attributes, of the forecast net pays, allowing detailed elaboration of the 3D geological model of the 12 formation and identification of channel bodies. Thanks to this, a change was achieved in the approach to developing the oil field and siting of planned wells optimized.

Provision of all deposits with constantly operating geological hydro-dynamic simulators has made it possible to organize, in a very short time, work in a new sphere - geological and technological support for production drilling, including rapid creation of a formation pressure maintenance system in drilling-out areas. Constantly operating geological hydro-dynamic simulators have been used to support drilling of 435 wells (started up), including 153 horizontal ones, on 25 oil fields.

A technological chain has been developed for scientific support for the process of drilling production wells. A unified chain has been organized, connecting the processes of planning, preparation of the project design documents, provision of detailed simulators, geological and technological support for well drilling, designer supervision over construction and analysis of the effectiveness of production drilling and drilling of sidetracks. This reduced the geological and technological risks and helped determine ways to improve operational efficiency.

In order to improve analysis, planning and design, work was performed to divide production targets into elements to be monitored. For all oil fields, ways were determined to improve further the efficiency of their development.

Work was organized to provide engineering support for pilot works in the sphere of enhanced oil recovery, including with respect to formation hydraulic fracturing, the methodological approach was changed to creating pilot work programs used in drawing up the design document for the Tevlino-Russkinskoye oil field.

Technological support is being provided for formation hydraulic fracturing and pilot development planning during introduction of oil recovery enhancement methods, including by carrying out laboratory studies of the quality of proppants and process liquids used in formation hydraulic fracturing.

In the sphere of production, I consider the following to be the most significant work carried out in recent years: introduction at the oil fields in the Timan-Pechora province by Kogalymneftegaz of a geological information system for processing field development data (GIS UDOM), as well as introduction of a dual completion unit developed by KogalymNIPIneft specialists.

KogalymNIPIneft focuses tremendous attention on systemic work on problems of corrosion and salt deposits, including testing of anti-corrosion versions of pipes for use under the conditions at the LUKOIL-Western Siberia oil fields; development of recommendations and technological regulations for combating corrosion, salt deposits and bactericidal treatment.

A method was justified for utilizing associated petroleum gas with an anomalously high content of carbon dioxide gas (2 up to 60% of volume) at the Urayneftegaz's Tolumskoye oil field in the Timan-Pechora province. The customer was offered a gas utilization unit based on NAO (USA) technology.

In the area of well construction, in 2011 we developed aggregated time standards, standards for team size and qualifications, and standards for resource use during construction of production wells at the Yury Korchagin oil field, using a fixed offshore ice-resistant platform on the shelf of the Caspian Sea.

Comprehensive feasibility studies were conducted for construction of multilateral wells for certain groups of formations at the Kogalymskoye oil field within the Tevlinsko-Russkinsky license sector, in consideration of surface and subsurface construction; regulations were developed for construction of complex structure wells. Pilot development planning is currently under way for construction of branched and multilateral wells.

With respect to design and survey works, let me note our projects for GTES-72 and GTES-48 gas turbine electric power plants at a number of Western Siberian oil fields.

Q: LUKOIL has managed to stabilize oil production in Western Siberia. What was KogalymNIPIneft's contribution to this achievement?

A: The entire complex of work performed by the Institute has been geared to fulfilling this task. In particular, geological hydro-dynamic simulators were used to justify the most expensive types of production enhancement operations, above all candidate wells for drilling sidetracks, which made it possible to increase the average annual oil recovery rate from 179 sidetracks started up in 2011 by 20.8 tons per day compared to the 2010 figure, with a 9% reduction in the water cut.

At the Drilling Support Center, a Drilling Support Group has been set up and started working, providing continuous support for drilling the horizontal part of the well, including during sidetracking. During 2011, support was provided for drilling 288 horizontal wells and 116 lateral horizontal sidetracks.

The Center for planning and monitoring ORE methods organizes and performs designer support for implementation of the annual hydraulic fracturing program:

  • Candidate wells for hydraulic fracturing are adjusted on a monthly basis with respect to formation hydraulic fracturing technology for each well and optimum designs are prepared for this kind of work.
  • Scientific and engineering support is provided for works, including site visits.

Continuous technical analysis is performed of design and actual parameters of hydraulic fracturing, as is scientific engineering support for testing new EOR and oil well stimulation technology in compliance with the approved Pilot Development Planning program.

Q: What are the most urgent tasks facing KogalymNIPIneft over the next few years?

A: We have an entire complex of tasks before us. In the sphere of geological exploration these are:

Planning and analysis of the results of geological exploration works on the territory where LUKOIL-Western Siberia operates and on the unallocated subsoil reserve fund. Monitoring of and support for geological exploration works.

  • Generalization of seismic data, building of zonal and regional geological and geophysical models with a hydrocarbon saturation forecast.
  • Creation of unified detailed seismic-geological models of LUKOIL-Western Siberia oil fields of practical significance and actively being drilled for the purpose of establishing quality geological foundations for optimizing production drilling and designing production enhancement operations.
  • Creation of continuously operating seismic geological models to specify and increase hydrocarbon reserves at sectors of strategic significance for the Company.
  • Design of 4D seismics and interpretation of 4D seismics materials.
  • Development, on the basis of 4D seismics, of new direct seismic signs of fluid replacement or anomalous values of geological oil field parameters.
  • Design and implementation of pilot project works with respect to the multi-wave (multi-component) seismic exploration.
  • Development of a new sphere of work on micro-seismic monitoring of formation hydraulic fracturing.

In the sphere of oil field development, the main task is to provide LUKOIL-Western Siberia with modern process design packages.

In 2012, it is planned to update documents for 150 facilities at 21 fields within the scope of design documentation renovation. In connection with the increase in production drilling and drilling of sidetracks, to ensure feasibility, it is proposed to increase the number of hydro-dynamic models in 2012 1.5-fold, to 455 units.

Other major tasks include:

  • Improvement of methods for selecting production enhancement operations on the basis of geological oil field analysis involving multi-variant calculations on geological hydro-dynamic models. Simulation of formation hydraulic fracturing designs.
  • An increase in the detail level of models through use of technical means and cluster technologies.

In the well construction sphere, the most pressing tasks in the near future are:

  • Development, at Company level, of methods for testing chemical reagents, materials, recipes and technologies in consideration of the regional specifics of their use, the methodologies for selecting service companies and the requirements on equipment and materials.
  • Generalization of the experience of introducing advance technologies and innovations in all LUKOIL Group oil and gas production facilities, development of a unified regulatory and technical framework for the Company in the sphere of well construction.
  • Provision of production process with the requisite volume of design and estimate documentation, including for construction of dual completion multilateral wells with an updated framework of rules and standards for use of new drilling equipment.

In the area of design and survey work, the main task is to develop technical and technological solutions for ensuring maximum use of associated petroleum gas and increasing the energy efficiency of the planned facilities.

Tasks that are always of importance include improving the quality of R&D and design and survey work by training specialists on further training courses; mentorship of young specialists; performance of work to improve the main business processes and the organizational structure of the branch; developing the Profile Center for designing well construction. 

Vladimir Igorev

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