TNK-BP Launches Russia's First Commingled Oil Project

LLC TNK-Uvat (a subsidiary of TNK-BP) has launched a pilot project involving commingled oil production. The first well of this kind is to be drilled in late March at the Ust-Tegusskoe field as part of the Uvat project in southern Tyumen region.

According to TNK-Uvat's General Director Andrey Rublev, the pilot project will enable simultaneous production of oil from different reservoirs via a single wellbore. The oil will be extracted and its properties monitored separately for each reservoir.

The reservoir conditions in the Ust-Tegusskoe field are suitable for this kind of project. Each formation has a potential flow-rate of around 100 tons of oil per day, which means that one well could produce up to 200 tons, Rublev explained. TNK-Uvat specialists predict that the project will substantially reduce drilling costs.

This project is not only a first for TNK-BP, but for Russia too. Wells of this kind are operated by Schlumberger in Ecuador (18 wells) and by Baker Hughes in Africa (12 wells). The equipment needed to construct the well at Ust-Tegusskoe will also be manufactured by Schlumberger and Baker Hughes. Downhole equipment sets are currently being delivered.

Rublev announced that commingled production is scheduled to begin in June 2010. Depending on the results, initial conclusions will be reached by the end of the year on the commercial merits of drilling more wells of this kind. If the project is a success up to 20 wells with this type of operation will be drilled at the Ust-Tegusskoe field.