25 Jan 2023 13:01

Astrakhan's authorities expect Lukoil to start drilling at Grayfer field in first half of year

ASTRAKHAN. Jan 25 (Interfax) - Astrakhan's authorities expect Lukoil to launch commercial drilling at the Grayfer field in the Caspian Sea in the first half of 2023, Astrakhan Region's Industry, Trade and Energy Minister Ilya Volynsky said on Wednesday at a press conference.

"Last year, we completed constructing the facilities for developing the Grayfer field at the Astrakhan plants. They have been successfully installed, and the commissioning and start-up process is underway. Everything is going according to schedule. I think that commercial drilling will begin in the first half of the year. We mean that the Grayfer field should begin commercial operations in 2023, and there are no stumbling blocks," Volynsky said.

Volynsky added that the company is continuing exploration work in the Caspian.

"Despite the large volumes of exploration work that have been carried out since the early 2000s, exploration work has not stopped. Last year, a new field was discovered with good reserves of gas condensate," he said.

Volynsky specified that the next field planned for development is the Kuvykina field, which is tentatively scheduled for commissioning in 2029, and the company plans to hold tenders for its installations, the minister said.

Lukoil's Astrakhan subsidiary, Lukoil-Nizhnevolzhskneft, is developing the fields in the Northern Caspian Sea.

Lukoil is currently operating two fields in the Caspian Sea, Korchagin and Filanovsky. The company produced 7.3 million tonnes of oil in the area in 2021. The third field, Grayfer, has initial recoverable reserves of 39 million tonnes of oil and around 33 billion cubic meters of gas, and the design level of production is 1.2 million tonnes.

The Kuvykin field has estimated recoverable C1+C2 oil reserves of 6.3 million tonnes, 231 bcm of gas, and 21 million tonnes of condensate.