Halliburton Partners with Russian University on Shale Development

Houston-based oilfield services company Halliburton signed a partnership agreement with Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas Jan. 30 to aid in the development of Russia’s unconventional oil and gas resources.

The partnership will allow Gubkin to offer its students and industry personnel real-world experience in unconventional resource development. By partnering with Halliburton, Gubkin will be positioned to create “a collaborative framework” to strengthen its education curriculum and learning environment and to prepare students to contribute more to their employers upon graduation, Mikhail Silin, university vice rector overseeing innovation activity and commercialization of new developments, in a Feb. 3 press release.

The company will provide senior technical and management staff to serve on Bugkin’s industry Advisory Boards, and will provide the foundation material for Gubkin’s unconventional curriculum that will provide the basis for student and industry training.

Halliburton also will work with Gubkin to explore basic applied research opportunities in conventional and unconventional resource development, assist university students with projects, and pursue research and development opportunities with Russian industry partners.

The company is positioned to provide the most recent ideas in unconventional development as well as state-of-the-art research and development solutions for the Bazhenov in Russia, said Brady Murphy, Halliburton’s senior vice president of business development, in a Feb. 3 press statement.

Russia is estimated to have as much as 680 trillion cubic meters (24 quadrillion) of unconventional resources, including natural gas from shale, sandstones, and coalbeds, Halliburton said. These resources include the Bazhenov formation in Siberia. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that 75 billion barrels of technically recover shale oil resources may lie in the Siberian Bazhenov shale formation.

Last month, Royal Dutch Shell plc and OAO Gazprom Neft began drilling to assess the Bazhenov’s potential. Bloomberg reported Jan. 13 that the companies had started drilling the first of five horizontal wells over a two-year period that would use multi-fracturing technology. Shell and ExxonMobil Corp. are both interested in pursuing the Bazhenov due to its similarities to the U.S. Bakken shale play.

The partnership is the first known program with the university aimed at learning and research, Dr. Paul Stephenson, manager – Eurasia Business Development and Strategic Projects at Halliburton, told Rigzone in an email statement. Work through the partnership is already underway. On Jan. 21, senior staff from one of Halliburton’s product lines met with Gubkin to explore areas of interest. Halliburton and the university are now jointly conducting “Needs Analysis” for both students and professionals. The university will determine the start date for the course.

“The Bazhenov presents many challenges as it is 70 to 90 times larger than the Eagle Ford and has a unique geological structure not seen in North America,” Stephenson commented. “Many other challenges exist with respect to operational logistics, chemical interaction with stimulation fluids and a complex mineralogy and the winter elements, to name a few. The current partnership with Gubkin will help increase everyone’s knowledge and understanding of the Bazhenov and its vitality.”

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com


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