November 29, 2010
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№ 10 (October 2010)

Ukraine, Russia Poised to Catch Shale Gale

Though the big NOCs in Russia tend to scoff at unconventional resource development – shale gas in particular – independent producers are offering a far different point of view. Tatyana V. Kruchkova, Deputy General Director and Chief Geologist, at Moscow-based NRK-Technology, is convinced that Russia has a future in unconventional hydrocarbon development – including shale gas.

By Pat Davis Szymczak

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And as for Ukraine, unconventional gas development, is the future. In upbeat presentation at a “Topical Luncheon” during the SPE RO&G 2010 conference Wednesday, Kruchkova said: “In Russia there can be some commercial interest in (shale and tight gas and oil). But Ukraine has such huge reserves (of unconventional resources including shale) this could completely change” current thinking.

In other words, Ukraine could well in the future be a serious energy producer, considering its reserves of coal bed methane, tight gas and oil and shale.  Before the Soviet Union struck gas in West Siberia in the mid-20th Century, Ukraine in fact was the USSR’s primary source of natural gas. Today it is a transit state for Russian gas to Europe.

NRK-Technology, LTD is currently developing the Palnikovskoye field in West Siberia for tight oil, and in Ukraine, the Dnepro-Donskoy field for tight gas, using horizontal drilling, Halliburton completion technology, and fracing to produce hydrocarbons from tight reservoirs.

NRK has used Halliburton’s TDelta Stim™ Technology for horizontal well completion and stimulation in the Palnikovskoye development in West Siberia. As Kruchkova described in her presentation, based on information from SPE Paper No. 117097:

Halliburton installed the DeltaStim bottomhole assembly in one-trip.

Ball actuated Delta Stim ™ sleeves were used for the first tie in Russia to complete the wellbore as well as a high-technology VersaFlex ™ liner hanger.

The first in Russia multi-stage fractured completion was implemented in four intervals in a horizontal section more than 100 meters long within four days.

For the first time, the total volume of proppant ever pumped in Russia into the horizontal section of a wellbore exceeded 560 metric tons of proppant 16/20 in a single job.

The well reached stable performance at high wellhead pressure and flowed naturally at the rate of 15-20 m3/day which is an excellent indicator for the reservoir whose permeability is as low as 0.1 mD.

The oil production rate was more than five times as high as that of the vertical fractured exploratory well for the same pad which shows an opportunity of technology and economically viable production of tight reservoirs.

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