Novatek, Gazprom Neft Target Achimov Gas
Russian oil and gas majors Novatek and Gazprom Neft have sunk their first well targeting the Achimov layers of Western Siberia’s giant Urengoi gas field.
Novatek said on July 12 that its 50:50 Arcticgas joint venture (JV) with Gazprom Neft had completed the borehole, which measured 5,624 metres and included a 1,500-metre horizontal section. The well achieved a daily flow rate of over 1mn m3 of gas and 500mt of gas condensate, Novatek said, confirming “significant prospects” for developing the Achimov layer.
Urengoi lies in the prolific Nadym-Pur-Taz region of Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets region. The field – which is shared among Russia’s leading oil and gas majors – first entered production in the late 1960s.
Development has traditionally focused on Urengoi's Cenomanian and Valanginian reservoirs, located at depths of 1,100-1,700 metres and 1,700-3,200 metres. But to maintain output, Russian operators have begun exploiting the deeper Achimov layer, located more than 4,000 metres under the ground.
Achimov structures are considered challenging to develop, characterised by abnormally high pressure, low permeability and poor reservoir properties. In some cases, Russian companies have therefore sought international assistance to bring Achimov deposits into production.
Gazprom has an existing JV with Germany’s Wintershall to develop Achimov resources at Urengoi; and it sold to Austrian OMV a 25% stake in other phases of development in a deal that closed last month.
The head of OMV, Rainer Seele, confirmed to Russia’s RBC news outlet on July 11 that talks were underway to develop Achimov reservoirs at Western Siberia’s Yamburg gas field with Gazprom Neft. But while most Achimov projects are focused on gas exploitation, the potential OMV-Gazprom Neft partnership would target oil rims, he said.