Russia plans to get French companies to help develop the Bazhenov Formation – one of the largest shale oil fields in the world.
On Thursday, Natalya Komarova, Governor of the Russian federal subject Yugra, and Didier Houssin, President of the French Renewable Energy Institute, signed a memorandum of cooperation in the area of oil extraction, including hard-to-recover oil reserves. The meeting took place in Paris during an official visit by the Russian governor to the French capital, TASS reports, citing Yugra’s department of public and foreign relations.
“The document defined the parties’ areas of cooperation. These include the development and realization of joint scientific programs and projects in the area of enhanced oil recovery from strata at fields, the development and realization of joint educational projects and programs in the oil and gas sphere, including projects to develop international educational standards and standards for certifying oil and gas specialists, and holding and participating in events aimed to enhance the effectiveness of activity in this sector,” Komarova is cited as saying.
The French institute and its subsidiaries will cooperate with regional institutions of higher education – the Yugra Scientific Research Institute of Information Technologies, the Shpilman Scientific Analysis Center for Rational Exploitation of Resources. “Our institute has accumulated a large amount of experience implementing projects in the area of hydrocarbon exploration and extraction. We will be happy to establish cooperation on this basis with the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (Yugra), in particular in the area of extracting hard-to-recover oil reserves,” remarked Houssin.
There are plans to involve the companies Beicip Franlab and IFP Training in the development of hard-to-recover oil reserves in Yugra. In particular, they will cooperate with the region in the area of exploratory drilling and creating technologies and equipment for developing such reserves.
At present, the Bazhen Technology Center, jointly established by the regional government and the company Gazprom Neft, is operating in Yugra. The center’s task is to find suitable technologies for extracting hard-to-recover oil from the Bazhenov Formation – one of the largest shale deposits in the world, situated in Western Siberia in an area of roughly 1 million m2.
It is hoped that the new technologies will be able to halt the decline of production at Yugra’s gradually depleting fields.
Before 2018, the annual oil production volumes in the region had declined by 1.5%. Last year, the process was halted: for the first time in 10 years, production grew by 0.5% to 236.5 million tons.
Yugra Governor Natalya Komarova said that the result had been made possible by special tax concessions, which led to an increase in exploratory drilling, and targeted administrative measures which facilitated an expedited commissioning of oil fields.
The government of Yugra predicts that oil production in the region will match 2018 levels in 2019 and in 2020.