Your account already exists. Please login first to continue managing your settings.
Current discovered reserves and forecast reserve growth in the east Siberian region is expected to be producing 2.1 Tcf/year to 2.5 Tcf/year by 2020.
With nearly 1,165 Tcf of estimated total gas in place in eastern Siberia and the Far East, Russia is ready to tackle the problems of severe natural and climatic conditions, complex geology, and tectonic activity to develop fields in the region.
The most promising areas include the Irkutsk Region, Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya), and Krasnoyarsk Territory, where the Chayadinskoye, Kovykhtinskoye, and Yurubchenko-Tokhomskoye major gas fields were discovered, said Pavel Tsybulsky, Gazprom VNIIGAZ, at the World Gas Conference 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 7.
However, geological exploration in the region is considered poor. “It should be noted that currently, special geological exploration aimed at prospecting promising locations for natural gas and helium-concentrate storage are not being carried out in eastern Siberia. These works should be launched in all three production areas,” he explained.
For example, estimated total gas in place in Yakutiya is about 451.8 Tcf. Of that, nearly 80% is in the undiscovered resources (C3 and D) categories.
The Evenk Autonomous District is also poorly explored with nearly 90% of estimated gas in place as undiscovered resources. The remoteness of the district from existing transmission routes is a likely reason for the lack of exploration.
“The largest fields in the Krasnoyarsk Territory are in the southern part of the Evenk Autonomous District — Yurubchenko-Tokhomskoye, Sobinsko-Payginskoye, Kuyumbinskoye, and Morinskoye. The prospect for establishing the Krasnoyarsk gas production center depend on the development of these fields,” he added.
Details of eastern Siberian fields are in a paper written for the conference by Tsybulsky and D.V. Lyugai, Gazprom VNIIGAZ, on “Industrial Development of Gazprom’s Unique Fields of Eastern Siberia: Challenges and Ways to Address Them.”
Key issues in developing the fields include abnormally low reservoir pressure and temperature in the pay zones, low productivity of reservoirs leading to a high probability of hydrate formation at bottomhole and in well bores, the need for helium extraction and storage, lack of surface and subsurface water required for well drilling, completion and production, instability caused by permafrost, poor infrastructure, and locating drilling pads in the boggy-rocky terrain, Tsybulsky continued.
Field development is presently characterized by scattered hydrocarbon reserves in several large and dozens of small fields. Thus, the most efficient way to address these problems is through the use of integrated field development, he said.
The fields in Yakutiya are on a fast track for development. The Chayadinskoye field is scheduled for commissioning in 2016, while the Tas-Yuryakhinskoye, Verkhnevilyuchanskoye, Srednetyungskoye, and Sobolokh-Nedzhelinskoye fields will begin commercial production by 2020.
The fields are expected to produce 1.1 Tcf/year to 1.4 Tcf/year for 30 years. Full-scale prospecting and geological exploration will be required in the region to meet that goal, he emphasized.
Total production from all three areas is targeted to be 2.1 Tcf/year to 2.5 Tcf/year by 2020, Tsybulsky said.
Major gas-processing infrastructure work will be needed, including facilities in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, 353 Tcf/year; Irkutsk Region, 176 Tcf/year; Chayadinskoye and Kovychntinskoye fields, 1.6 Tcf/year; and Primorsky Territory, 530 Tcf/year.
Nitrogen concentrations range up to 30%. A nitrogen-rejection unit will need to be built in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. An LNG plant is being considered in the Primorsky Territory. To meet the calorific value for LNG exports, NGLs would remain in the gas stream.
With estimated reserves of 247 Tcf in the Chayadinsky production center, helium is also a valuable resource. Helium concentrations range from 0.24% to 0.6%. These reserves “may help Russia become a world leader in helium production since helium reserves significantly exceed both domestic and foreign consumer demand,” he said.
There will be three options for long-term helium storage — salt-dome caverns, small depleted gas fields, and reinjection into one of the formations in a developed field.
The latter will require R&D of underground helium concentrate storage in fields, taking into account geological conditions in the design of the injection wells. Otherwise, there could be substantial, irreversible helium concentrate losses.
The technology developed in producing the Chayadinskoye field will pave the way for development of the other eastern Siberian fields.
Contact the author, Scott Weeden, at firstname.lastname@example.org.