TNK-BP to Invest $1B by 2012 for Samotlor Field Development

The Russian-British company TNK-BP is going to invest $1 billion by 2012 into development of the Samotlor field for maintaining oil production in it at the level of 30 million tons, informed the press service of TNK-BP.

Commercial development of the Samotlor field turns 40 on Friday. The Samotlor gas and oil field lies in the Nizhnevartovsk Region of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, 750 northeast of the city of Tyumen, in 15 km from the city of Nizhnevartovsk. The field covers two license areas. The companies Samotlorneftegaz and TNK-Nizhnevartovsk, incorporated into TNK-BP, produce oil in this field. The field was discovered in 1965 and put into commercial development in 1969.

The in-place oil reserves of the Samotlor field were equal to 55 billion barrels. Now, they are estimated at approximately 1 billion barrels, which means that the field is among the five largest fields in the world. The proven reserves of the field amount to approximately 4 billion barrels (according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission).

In the 40 years of commercial development of the field, 2.554 billion tons of oil was produced in it. Oil production in the field reached its peak of 158.9 million tons in 1980. At that time, the Samotlor field accounted for nearly a half of all oil production in Russia. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the oil production in the field dropped to one eighth of its peak level. Now, the production of oil in the field has stabilized at the level of approximately 30 million tons a year. The average daily production of oil in 2009 is 77,700 tons.

The annual production of oil in the Samotlor field is expected to remain at this level in the nearest five years. TNK-BP notes that this is a remarkable achievement in the conditions of natural decline of production from mature reservoirs.

"By 2012, annual investments into the field will be approximately $1 billion," said the press release of the company.

The plan of Samotlor field development approved in the Federal Agency for Management of Subsoil Use (Rosnedra) implies production operations until 2099. By the end of this century, the well stock of the field, including 13,400 oil wells and 4,500 injection wells, will account for approximately 70% of production. Apart from that, oil production will be maintained by means of further geological exploration of the territories and use of advanced recovery technologies.

TNK-BP is going to continue investing considerable sums into geological exploration works in its mature fields. The company intends to maintain the level of oil production in the Samotlor field in the years to come owing to the use of new exploration and production technologies. TNK-BP is exploring and producing oil in Western Siberia, Eastern Siberia, in the Volga-Ural region, and on Sakhalin Island.

In 2007, the company produced more than 78 million tons of oil. TNK-BP is now the third largest oil company in Russia. Currently, 50% of shares of TNK-BP is owned by BP and another 50% by the Russian shareholders of the company (25% by Alpha Group of Mikhail Fridman, 12.5% by Renova of Viktor Vekselberg, and 12.5% by Access Industries of Leonard Blavatnik).


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