LUKOIL has been actively developing and deploying advanced technologies to maximize hydrocarbon recovery and streamline its operations and technological solutions. These efforts help improve our operational efficiency, reduce costs, bring new reserves into production, increase oil recovery ratios and develop new products.
LUKOIL’s key priority in production is to increase the oil recovery ratio, which, in the long term, will help capture a significant potential of the available resource base. The Company develops and utilizes high-viscosity oil production techniques. One of the priority focus areas is represented by performance improvement of development operations and implementing new technologies in order to launch production of hard-to-recover reserves in a cost-efficient manner, utilization of innovation technologies at mature blocks.
The vastest experience in development of high-viscosity oil reserves has been accumulated in the Komi Republic where the Group develops Yaregskoye and Usinskoye fields.
Usinskoye field’s Permian-Carboniferous deposit is developed using areal steam and cyclic steam formation treatment technologies.
Yaregskoye field consists of Yaregskaya, Lyaelskaya, and Vezhavozhskaya areas. Oil is produced at Yaregskaya (thermoshaft production) and Lyayelskaya (steam assisted gravity drainage — SAGD) areas.
Enhanced oil recovery techniques make it possible to significantly increase recoverable reserves through commercial production of high-viscosity oil reserves, as well as reserves in low-permeability reservoirs and hard-to-recover reserves of a mature field. LUKOIL utilizes physical, chemical, hydrodynamic and thermal reservoir treatment techniques. One of the high-performance oil recovery enhancement techniques is to drill sidetracks in the existing wells. High performance of sidetracking operations is first of all conditioned by the preparation of scientifically substantiated mini-projects that involve the use of hydrodynamic modeling and higher-precision forecasting of the geology and composition of reserves within sidetracking zones. Please note that sidetracking is generally used with the idle well stock in order to recover additional residual oil reserves.
Small-diameter wells speed up construction, enabling more oil reserves to be brought on stream. The average savings are 30-50% of standard well costs. Another advantage of small-diameter wells is the reduced well pad costs.
We have been successfully applying three-string horizontal well construction technology in West Siberia, which has accelerated construction by 35% on average (or by 50% in some cases) and reduced costs by approximately 20% as compared to the standard four-string design of horizontal wells.
Prospecting activities in Perm Krai (Urals region) are complicated by numerous natural protection and water protection zones within the areas of occurrence of potassium and magnesium salts. Therefore, in order to reduce environmental impact, the Group introduced environmentally friendly seismic prospecting and drilling technologies. Environmentally friendly seismic prospecting is done with the use of small-size equipment towed by snowmobiles or mounted on a tool carrier. This helps reduce deforestation activities and preserve primeval soil, while ground water experiences almost no impact. In addition, environmentally friendly seismic prospecting makes it possible to operate within the areas located in difficult geological environments with minimum deviation from the planning scope of work.
The LUKOIL Group has developed the world’s first ever drives based on AC electronic motors that ensure a range of performance parameters enabling optimal process conditions to withdraw the well stream with minimum energy inputs and maximum service life. AC electronic motors help reduce energy inputs during oil production due to higher efficiency factors and lower operating currents, as well as due to the possibility to control the rotation speed and to operate in a cyclic mode.