Fracking boosts oil flow in Russia

Paul Boughton

Around the world new wells are coming on line and major production investments are being given the go-ahead.

At the Rustamovskoye oil field in Russia, Shelton Petroleum has recently completed a series of activities designed to increase oil production. A two-well fracking programme has substantially increased well productivity. In addition, drilling of the field's fourth well has been completed and oil was encountered at target depth.

Shelton Petroleum has raised its oil production as a result of the fracking of wells number one and number 11 that was carried out during last summer. Production from these two wells and the number two well on the Rustamovskoye field amounts to almost 400bopd, an increase of nearly 100 per cent since the beginning of the year. The company now produces a total of over 700bopd, including the operations in Ukraine.

The new number 12 well has been drilled to a total depth of 2500 metres. Oil has been encountered in the same sandstone formation as the three other wells produce from. The logs indicate good reservoir properties. Shelton Petroleum is currently testing and optimising the flow of the well (Fig. 1).

Meanwhile, RWE Dea UK has started gas production from the Breagh gas field located in the UK southern North Sea. The first three wells brought into production had an initial total flow rate of 2.75 million m3/d of gas. Total reserves of the Breagh field are estimated at approximately 19.8 billion m3.

Breagh is one of the largest natural gas discoveries under development in the UK sector of the southern North Sea and the largest RWE Dea operated field development project in the UK. The company has a 70 percent stake in the licence, with the other 30 per cent owned by Sterling Resources UK.

"Breagh is very important in the context of achieving our company's growth targets as this field will make a major contribution towards boosting RWE Dea's gas production," explained Thomas Rappuhn, RWE Dea ceo. "We're all the more delighted to be able to start up production at this point."

During phase one of the field development project, RWE Dea expects an average annual production volume of 1.1 billion m3 from 2014 to 2018. A peak production level of about 4millionm3/d of natural gas is anticipated in early 2014. By investing in the Breagh field, the company says it is underlining its long-term commitment to operations on the British continental shelf.

"We've successfully managed to bring this extremely challenging development project to this key point with an exemplary safety record," says Rene Pawel, senior vice president production Europe with RWE Dea. "The installation of the offshore platform and pipeline proceeded according to schedule, and we also successfully implemented the 11km onshore pipeline to the onshore gas treatment facility in Teesside."

The Breagh gas field is located in Blocks 42/13a and 42/12a in the UK sector of the southern North Sea, about 65 km off the coast of north east England. The water depth is approximately 60metres.

Gas from the field flows through a 20-inch pipeline to the coast at Coatham Sands near Teesside. It continues to the gas treatment facility in Teesside via an 11km buried pipeline, and from there into the British gas grid.

The pipeline and the gas treatment facility have a total capacity of approximately 11.3million m3/d of natural gas.

Development go-aheads

Technip, in a joint venture with Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (MMHE), has received confirmation from Petronas Carigali for a substantial engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) contract for the development of two gas fields in Block SK316. Those fields are located approximately 180km North of Bintulu, Sarawak, at a water depth of 104 metres.

The Technip-MMHE joint venture had earlier participated in the front-end engineering design competition with subsequent rollover to EPCIC execution.

The EPCIC contract includes a central processing platform and a bridge-linked wellhead platform, which will be constructed at MMHE's fabrication yard at Pasir Gudang in Johor, Malaysia, as well as a 75 km pipeline which will be installed by one of Technip's pipe-laying vessels.

Technip says its part of the contract is worth somewhere between EUR250 million and EUR500 million.

Meanwhile, in a consortium led by National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), Technip has won a contract from Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work of Umm Lulu full field development project.

The contract, with an approximate value of US$1.69 billion (EUR1.25 billion), was awarded at the conclusion of a competitive bidding process in which a number of EPC contractors participated. Technip has a 35 per cent share in the contract.

The contract's scope of work consists of the detailed engineering, procurement, fabrication, offshore installation, commissioning and start-up of a large offshore super complex comprising of six bridge linked platforms including gathering, separation, gas treatment and water disposal facilities, utilities and accommodation modules, totalling over 66,000 tonnes.

Technip will be responsible for the engineering of the project and will share the procurement and commissioning works with NPCC. NPCC will be responsible for the fabrication and installation of the facilities. The project is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2018.

Also in the Middle East, Marathon Oil and its partners have received approval from the Kurdistan regional government for the first phase in the oil development of the Atrush block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The Atrush-1 discovery well was drilled in 2011, and is located approximately 50 miles north west of Erbil. The development project will consist of drilling three production wells and constructing a central processing facility.

Marathon Oil and its partners expect to achieve first production by early 2015 with an estimated initial gross production of approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). The approval of the field development plan for phase one provides for a 25-year production period.

North Sea investment strengthens OMV's upstream portfolio

OMV has reached an agreement with Statoil acquire assets in Norway and the UK. Under the deal, OMV acquires 19 per cent of the producing Gullfaks field and 24 per cent of the Gudrun field; both oil and gas fields are offshore the Norwegian continental shelf. In addition, OMV will take over 30 per cent in Rosebank and 5.877 per cent in Schiehallion, both fields located west of the Shetland Islands. The agreement with Statoil also involves options for 11 exploration licenses.

An integral part of the transaction is an R&D partnership with Statoil to develop new technologies for the exploration of gas and oil from mature fields. OMV says its comprehensive expertise in onshore enhanced oil recovery is an ideal complement to Statoil's experience in offshore enhanced oil recovery.

"The transaction will provide a huge boost to OMV's strategy and will be a key factor in achieving our 2016 targets. Furthermore, the agreement to partner with Statoil on exploiting a number of exploration activities in the North Sea and west of Shetland area as well as the agreement to jointly work on enhanced oil recovery research adds both to our know how as well as the size of our exploitable asset base in the long term," said OMV ceo Gerhard Roiss.

This acquisition will see OMV's 2P reserves (2P = proven and probable) increase by about 320 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) from the current levels of around 1.7billionboe. Production is set to rise by 40,000boe/d by 2014 with a target increase to approximately 58,000boe/d by 2016.

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