8 Jun 2022 16:44

Gazprom intends to drill one well per year at Shtokman cluster in coming 10 years

MOSCOW. June 8 (Interfax) - Gazprom intends to drill a well per year in the Shtokman cluster in the Barents Sea in the next decade, Vadim Rybalchenko, head of the gas giant's production department (307), wrote in Gas Industry magazine.

"The Shtokman cluster on the Barents Sea continental shelf remains one of the key regions for increasing natural gas reserves and replenishing PJSC Gazprom's gas production resource base. It includes seven license areas, including the giant Shtokman and Ledovoye gas condensate fields, the Ludlovskoye gas condensate field, and promising structures at the Medvezhye, Fersmanovskoye and Demidovskoye fields. Between 2022-2031 Gazprom is planning to build 10 prospecting and exploratory wells within the fields and promising structures of Shtokman group", Rybalchenko wrote with his co-authors from Gazprom and Gazprom VNIIGAZ.

As of January 1, 2022, the initial localized total recoverable resources of the Shtokman Group amount to approximately 6.7 trillion cubic meters of free gas and 70.4 million tons of condensate (categories C1, C2, D0+Dl). The Shtokmanovskoye (C1 gas reserves 3.939 trillion cubic meters), Ludlovskoye (C1+C2 gas reserves - 269 billion cubic meters, resources - 278 billion cubic meters) and Ledovoye (C1+C2 gas reserves - 486 billion cubic meters, resources - 41 billion cubic meters) fields are explored.

In 2021, principal work was carried out at the Ledovoye and Ludlovskoye fields: engineering surveys (two sites) for construction of two exploration wells. In the next four-year period (2022-2025), primary activities will be focused on prospecting and exploration drilling at the Ledovoye and Ludlovskoye fields.

Beginning in 2026, the scope and timing of work at the subsoil areas in question are determined by the approved design documents, but to a greater extent they will depend on the results of drilling at the previous stage, as well as economic and other factors that optimize the necessary set of exploration activities. In 2026-2031, exploratory wells are planned for the Ledovoye and Ludlovskoye fields. Drilling of prospecting and appraisal wells at the Demidovskoye, Fersmanovskoye and Medvezhye prospective structures is planned for 2028-2031.

"In addition, work is underway to assess the oil and gas potential of the structures of the unallocated subsoil fund in order to obtain the rights to carry out exploration work in new areas. The most promising area of the Barents Sea continental shelf seems to be the offshore area to the north and west of the Shtokman group of sections" Rybalchenko also said.

In 2020, Gazprom carried out a regular adjustment of feasibility studies for the Shtokman development project. The study options matrix included seven schemes - from full gas preparation for transportation on platforms and transportation of gas and condensate by single-phase flow to the shore, to full underwater development without platforms with a floating LNG plant. The idea of floating LNG was previously deemed inadvisable. Since then, however, technology has advanced substantially, and several floating LNG plant projects have already been implemented worldwide.

Among the new options that could be analyzed is placement of a stationary gravity-based platform about 200 km from Shtokman in shallow water in the Gusinaya Bank area and the placement of facilities on Novaya Zemlya. Field development is planned with the help of a ship-type floating production unit, which should be created in cooperation with the United Shipbuilding Corporation.

The project partners also include Almaz-Antey Concern and Rosatom state corporation, Vladimir Vavilov, deputy head of Gazprom's technology import substitution department, said a year ago.