19 Oct 2023 14:09

Gazprom Neft expediting geological exploration in strategically important areas - senior manager

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) - Gazprom Neft is accelerating geological exploration in strategically important areas, and has now resumed its exploration projects that had been suspended during the pandemic, Yuri Masalkin, director for geological exploration and resource base development at Gazprom Neft, said during an interview with Interfax.

"Our strategy was initially based on a comprehensive portfolio of geological exploration projects. At each time, we analyze it, whether it is it is better to develop in which regions, what quantity and quality of reserves and in what period need to be obtained. During the pandemic, with reduced production and low oil prices, it was difficult situation, a number of areas of geological exploration then went on pause. Last year, we again took up those projects that were suspended to one degree or another during Covid, in 2020-2021. Their rethinking taking into account new realities forces us to form a portfolio that can 'give maximum guarantees for the short and long term'. It is important to concentrate efforts. Now Gazprom Neft is accelerating geological exploration in strategically significant areas," Masalkin said.

Masalkin noted that the company had upgraded production with new reserves by 119% at the end of 2022.

"We have discovered 20 new deposits and received licenses for 16 areas in West Siberia. This is new assets in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District (YNAD), and the Yenisei Bay of the Kara Sea. The acquisition has continued to development promising exploration clusters in south of Yamal, the Gydan and Taimyr peninsulas. The company's production supply with prepared reserves was 19 years," Masalkin said.

According to Masalkin, Gazprom Neft's geological exploration is now focused on delivering results as quickly as possible. For example, at the Winter project in YNAD in 2017, the first well was drilled and a new field was discovered. Now a new cluster is being created there, which will provide about half of the production of one of the largest enterprises of the company - Gazpromneft-Khantos. Discoveries at this project continue; the increase in reserves in 2022 alone amounted to 26 million tonnes.

Gazprom Neft last year additionally discovered one of the largest fields in the modern history of the Orenburg region, a long-developed and well-studied region. At the Solnechnyoe license area, part of the South Orenburg project, a deposit with geological reserves of about 53 million tonnes of oil equivalent was discovered; it was named after geologist Viktor Orlov. The flow rate at the well was about 500 tonnes per day, with the average in this region being about 20 tonnes; this is a very good result. "However, the most important thing is the quality of the oil, which in its properties belongs to the light grades and contains almost no impurities. The Southern Orenburg field includes four more areas where drilling is just planned. And we see the possibility of opening several more fields," Masalkin said.

Last year, in the north of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District , Gazprom Neft completed the formation of its largest exploration cluster. From 2016 to 2022, 29 licenses were obtained here.