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Oil producers have teamed up for difficult work

Three Russian oil companies Tatneft, Gazprom Neft and LUKOIL  have established a joint venture to find and produce hard-to-recover oil in the Volga-Ural region. In a joint statement companies have announced the completion of the deal and the establishment of a joint venture "New Oil Production Technologies". The companies' shares in the joint venture are to be split equally.

"The partners will combine operational and technological competences for the most effective development of traditional oil deposits, and formation of cost-effective technologies for the commercial exploitation of hard-to-recover hydrocarbons on two sites in the Orenburg region," the report says.

According to the report, the parties will look for ways to develop not only hard-to-recover but also unconventional hydrocarbons. The joint venture will obtain licenses for the Savitsky and Zhuravlevsky sites. Production will start in 2024.

The companies specified that the Savitsky plat of 900 square kilometers has not been studied much, the drilling of the first of the planned six exploration wells is just being completed. The workers conduct geophysical research, including core and fluid sampling, and perform research and field non-seismic studies. On the territory of 120 square kilometers of Zhuravlevsky plat there is a mothballed field with 2.5 million tons of residual geological reserves on the state balance sheet. In the next three years, it is planned to conduct 3D seismic system almost all over the territory, and drill an exploration well for traditional oil reserves and the other one with horizontal completion for unconventional oil reserves.

This refers to hydrocarbon exploration in domanik deposits located at a depth of 1.3 to 3.5 km. Domanik is the Russian version of the American shale. These oil reserves in sediments are difficult to extract due to the high density of the rock.

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