TNK-BP Starts Up 2 Key West Siberian Oil Fields

TNK-BP has launched commercial production from the Urna and Ust-Tegus fields in the Uvat area of the Tyumen region. On February 16, crude from Urna and Ust-Tegus was fed into the 264-kilometer pipeline which connects the fields with the Transneft pipeline system.

The launch ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Sechin, Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Urals federal district Nikolai Vinnichenko, Head of the Federal Agency on Subsoil (Rosnedra) Anatoliy Ledovskykh, governor of the Tyumen Region Vladimir Yakushev, Chief Executive Officer of TNK-BP Tim Summers and Executive Director of TNK-BP German Khan.

"Uvat has been a challenge for us, both technologically and logistically," said Tim Summers, "However, successful combination of international expertise and Russian experience enabled TNK-BP to bring this major greenfield undertaking on stream on time and on budget."

"Developing hard-to-recover reserves in a remote pristine Uvat area became possible thanks to the continuous support of the administration of the Tyumen region," said German Khan, "Our mutually advantageous cooperation creates a multiple economic effect for the south of Tyumen, resulting in thousands of new workplaces, contracts for local industrial enterprises and construction of new infrastructure facilities."

Urna and Ust-Tegus are located in the eastern part of Uvat. The cumulative oil in place of the two fields is estimated at 300 million tonnes, including 100 million tonnes of recoverable reserves.

In 2009, Urna and Ust-Tegus are planned to produce about 1.5 million tonnes of crude. TNK-BP completed construction of a 264-kilometer pipeline and a central crude gathering facility which facilitate transportation of crude from the fields westwards to enter the Transneft pipeline system. Up to date, investment into field development and construction of the infrastructure amounted to $925 million. In 2009, TNK-BP expects to spend $500 million on the Uvat project which includes drilling of development wells and construction of infrastructure facilities.

Uvat Project

The Uvat group of fields is located in the south of the Tyumen Region in West Siberia, 400 km away from the city of Tyumen. The first appraisal well at Uvat was drilled over 50 years ago; however, remoteness, swampy land and complicated reservoir architecture did not allow to find ways for economic development of the field at the time. Uvat licenses were originally purchased by TNK but the field's active development started after TNK-BP was formed.  

Today, the Uvat group of fields consists of 15 license areas (21 fields) with resource potential of 250 million tons of oil. 2009 marks the beginning of commercial oil production at Urnenskoye and Ust-Tegusskoye fields. Once other license areas are brought on stream, Uvat may reach a production plateau of 10 million tons per year.

Developing the fields' facilities will require significant investment but it may eventually alter the region's infrastructure. First of all, the development of Uvat will substantially increase tax payments to the region's budget. Additionally, the development of Uvat will stimulate industrial development of the south of the Tyumen Region and create close to 12 thousand jobs in the region.