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Technological development

Organizational and technological development

From 2017 to 2020, the Company operated an Operational Upgrade Program (OUP), which included the main initiatives for the organizational and technological development of the Company. Within the framework of this program, the following programs were initiated: the Company's transition to a branch structure, involvement of employees in optimizing production costs, a program to improve the efficiency of field development, a program to increase the inter-overhaul time, and others. For 3 years, the effect of the program amounted to more than RUB 6bln.

High actual effectiveness of the program allowed in 2020 to make a decision on the formation of a permanent Program for Organizational and Technological Development of the Company, which is planned for a three-year period. Monitoring of the implementation and economic effect of all initiatives of the program was set up.

Automation of production processes

The Company has approved and is implementing a strategy to increase the production processes automation. This improves the quality of management, speeds up the decision-making, ultimately reducing the cost of oil and gas production. Subsequently, this simplifies the planning of field development and operation.

Since 2017, OIS "Production", OIS "Shahmatka" and "NGT SMART", OIS "Factor Analysis" have been implemented and are successfully operating. For the Company it means:

  • single integrated database;
  • unified information processing algorithms;
  • integrating the geology and production;
  • analysis of the efficiency of field development;
  • well intervention planning, well intervention efficiency analysis;
  • comparison and analysis of planned and actual production indicators.
  • In 2018, a pilot installation of the ADVANTA digital system for project management in capital construction was carried out. The system proved to be highly effective and was put into commercial operation in 2019. In the current period, the System is used to conduct a full cycle of development of design and estimate documentation, from the development of technical specifications and design assignments to the unloading of project documentation after passing Glavgosexpertiza.

    In 2019, an advanced domestic software package for the design of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) was introduced. Its use made it possible to enhance control over the hydraulic fracturing operations, to develop an optimal hydraulic fracturing design for specific geological conditions, including for complex conditions of the Bazhenov formation and Achimov deposits.

    Since 2020, as part of the development of upstream information systems, the electronic modules of the OIS "Tekhnolog" have been operated, where various functions of wells operation parameters monitoring are implemented coming directly from the field telemetry system, and OIS "Field Equipment", in its current form, providing real-time accounting of production tubing and sucker rods with the functions of calculating quarterly and semi-annual availability, as well as the reconciliation with accounting, an automated planning system and efficiency analysis of well intervention, which allows to improve the timeliness of technological calculations, introduce electronic interaction of specialists, automate some functions for the formation of immediate reporting and testing of well intervention.

    Since 2019, in the Subsoil Use Monitoring System, the process of calculating the MET coefficients has been automated and the process of generating PJSC “RussNeft”- format regulated report has being implemented, based on the data of the State Balance of Mineral Resources, which is stored and visualized in the System. Automation of the process helps to reduce labor resources, improve the accuracy of the necessary calculations.

    Competencies in the development of hard-to-recover reserves (HTR reserves) and well stimulation technology

    In 2019-2022, efficiency in operations with HTR reserves was ensured by the Integrated System of Field Development Optimization introduced in the Company. The main components of the system are:

    • Unified digital information and analysis system for improving the efficiency of development;
    • Modern approaches and software for Proxy and 3D geological and hydrodynamic modelling, taking into account geomechanics and nonlinear filtration in the reservoir;
    • A system for operational streamlining of production in drilling zones, taking into account existent geology, geomechanics and actual production data for the construction of new wells;
    • Integrated multivariate technical and economic simulation of field development strategy;
    • Factor analysis of base production and well intervention, Integral analysis of the current state of development, well intervention planning.

    The main achievements and challenges of the Integrated System of Field Development Optimization as of 2022:

    • Over the past three years, the base production decline rate has been reduced by more than 12.9% (by an average of 1.2 pp per year).
    • The effects of building up and optimization of formation-pressure maintenance systems at the Verkhne-Shapshinskoye and Tagrinskoye fields provide about 42% and 23% of the current daily production of Khanti-Mansi Branch and Nizhnevartovsk Branch, respectively.
    • Optimization of the systems for flanks development of Tagrinskoye and the South part of Verkhne-Shapshinskoye fields effectively engaged HTR reserves in the development with maximum economic effectiveness.
    • Projects for effective involvement in the development of the oil-bearing targets of Bazhenov formation of the Shapshinskaya group are under way.

    Horizontal wells completion technologies for MSHF

    Since 2016, the Company has been implementing projects for drilling horizontal wells with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing (MSHF). In performing MSHF, special attention shall be paid to completion systems, since implementation of several fractures along one wellbore necessitates solving a number of complex technological problems, namely to ensure:

    • high-quality isolation of MSHF zones from each other;
    • high-quality opening of the zone of hydraulic fracturing (HF);
    • reducing the time of multi-stage hydraulic fracturing.

    In 2016-2018, technological solutions were implemented that gave impetus to the development of cost optimization processes for MSHF, while increasing technological efficiency and reducing the time spent on operation. The following solutions were tested and implemented:

    • ball arrangements that allow performing staged hydraulic fracturing in an open borehole with the help of a system of swellable packers and ball couplings of MSHF.
    • sliding couplings (ball arrangements);
    • couplings with dissolvable saddles (ball arrangements);
    • the “Mongoose” technology used in a cased horizontal borehole and implemented through the joint operation of hydraulic fracturing and coiled tubing fleets.
    • the "Plug & Perf" technology - a technology using a geophysical cable for hydraulic fracturing in a cased horizontal borehole.

    In 2019, the implementation of a program for the construction and completion of horizontal wells in a 2-column scheme with a horizontal section length of over 500 meters and reservoir exposure angle of more than 90° was initiated. The cumulative effect of reducing specific well cost over two years is amounted to more than RUB 3bln.

    In 2020, high indicators were achieved due to the implementation of technological solutions to increase the length of horizontal wells sections from 500 to 750 meters. The average annual increase in oil production from horizontal wells was 59.3 tons/day, with the planned 48 t/day.

    In December 2020, well 46012 was drilled and commissioned in the southeastern part of the South reservoir of the Achimov deposits of the Tagrinskoye field with a horizontal section length of 1000 meters. The 10 hydraulic fracturing stages well performed on the well. In addition to the standard proppant, the SANDRIT propping agent (fractionated quartz sand) was also used, with a total weight of 264 tons (38% of the total volume). The use of SANDRIT reduced proppant costs by 43%, while the total cost of hydraulic fracturing was reduced by 14%. The initial oil flow rate of the well was 175.5 tons/day. In 2021, drilling of 26 wells out of the planned 48 at the Tagrinskoye field is planned using a similar design, accounting for more than 50% of the Company’s drilling volume of the Varyogan oil block.

    In 2021, pilot work was successfully carried out using an improved stinger design for wells with a 146x114 mm production casing. The modified “stinger-polished funnel” assembly eliminated the need of the reaming stage in the interval of installing a staged cementing coupling (SCC), which led to a reduction in well dvelopment time by 3 days. The application of this stinger modification is currently being replicated.

    The use of the SANDRIT propping agent (fractionated quartz sand) for hydraulic fracturing continues to expand. In 2022, pilot work confirmed the possibility of increasing the proportion of SANDRIT in the total mass of injected proppant to 30% without loss of quality.

    Since August 2022, along with the provision of proppant, an initiative has been implemented to supply the hydraulic fracturing contractor on a give-and-take basis with all the main chemical components for the fracturing fluid gel systems, which ultimately reduced the cost of hydraulic fracturing by 5%. An important point is that all the components provided for the operation, from the proppant to the biocide, are produced in the Russian Federation by domestic manufacturers significantly contributing to the import substitution.

    An expert approach based on a in-depth retrospective analysis of hydraulic fracturing operations carried out in the Khanty-Mansiysk Branch over the past 5 years has optimized the practical design of the operation, significantly reducing the technological proppant residue and “proppant tail” spilled over the reservoir perforation zone. Additionally, for the implementation of progressive injection parameters, an improved blender unit is used in the fleet. As a result, the final work and the total well development time were reduced, a significant reduction in additional costs for bottomhole normalization after hydraulic fracturing was achieved.

    In total, according to the results of 2022, 561 fracturing stages were completed at MSHF operations, while more than 46 thousand tons of proppant were pumped in.

    Well servicing

    Since 2018, there has been continuous improvement, development and updating of local regulations (LR) in the field of well workover, replication of best practices in the established branches of the Company. An integrated approach based on expert support and analysis of the causes of deviations during well workover led to the reduction in the number of own accidents by 48% over 5 years, the specific indicator was minus 13%, and the time of emergency response was reduced by 85%.

    As a result, the economic effect from the implementation of repair and overhaul activities for 5 years is estimated at the level of RUB 720 mln.

    Process solutions for implementation of well interventions

    In May 2019, for the first time in the Company, an acid fracturing of the formation was carried out on the Paleozoic carbonate deposits at the Khanty-Mansiyskoye field, using a polymer-free gel system at high reservoir temperature (+118°C). The use of this technology slowed the reaction rate of the acid with the rock more than 15-fold, allowing for the deeper penetration of the working acid into the formation.

    In December 2020, a high-flow, high-volume hydrochloric acid treatment of carbonate deposits was conducted at low reservoir temperatures. The work was carried out by the Ulyanovsk Branch of the Company. The uniqueness of the work lies in the fact that as a working fluid we used a higher viscosity polymer-free acidic gel based on surfactants. The use of this type of acid composition helps to achieve a significantly greater coverage of the target treatment object in terms of power and to create highly conductive channels / cracks with low residual contamination (due to the absence of polymer compounds in the acid composition). The treatment was carried out using equipment with injection rate of 2-3 m3/min. The cost of treatment is twice lower than the cost of a standard hydraulic fracturing. As a result of the work performed, a stable increase in oil production rate of more than 30 tons per day was achieved.

    In 2020, work was carried out to select the optimal acid composition for the treatment of horizontal wells with previously performed multi-stage hydraulic fracturing.

    In 2021, a large-scale program for stimulation of horizontal wells with a selected optimal combined acid composition was successfully implemented.

    In 2022, pilot survey on the use of new compositions for RIW (repair and insulation works) under complicated well conditions was successfully completed. The success rate achieved significantly exceeds the industry average values for this type of well intervention. A program has been developed for further implementation of the selected technology.

    Operation technology for artificially-lifted wells

    During the operation of the artificially-lifted well stock, the sequential introduction of tubing hangers with an internal polymer coating was continued. According to the results of 2022, 375 wells at the Company's fields are equipped with corrosion-proof tubing, which allows for comprehensive prevention of complications due to corrosion and deposits of asphalts, resins, and paraffins and reduce operating costs for maintenance.

    At the end of the year, a significant Mean Time Between Failures amounted to 817 days was achieved for the Company, which is 18% higher than the previous year indicator.

    In general, work regarding the operation of the artificial lift well stock is carried out in accordance with approved local regulations and annually developed Organizational and Technological Measures directly related to the Program of Increasing the Wells Mean Time Between Failures, reduction of failures and reduction of the frequency of approaches to wells by maintenance crews.

    Optimizing the production process

    In order to involve all employees in the process of optimizing production processes and costs, a Program for Collecting, Adopting and Implementing Organizational and Technical Innovations was launched in 2017, which includes all stages of processing ideas, from initiation to monitoring and motivation of authors.

    Science and engineering councils have been introduced in the branches and Company for expert evaluation of ideas. Any employee of the Company can submit an idea to optimize the production process. After a detailed elaboration of the idea, it is submitted for consideration by the science and engineering council of the branch/Company where the decisions are made thereon. All approved ideas are implemented and monitored.

    Over the past period, more than 500 ideas have been initiated and adopted directly by employees involved in production, covering a wide range of topics from reengineering drilling processes, industrial construction, reducing energy consumption to technological improvements in production processes. The accumulated effect of the implemented measures since the beginning of the Program's existence is estimated at around RUB 1.3 bln.