Gazprom conquers new depths
Anatoly Luchnikov, Yelena Danilova
Gas condensate production facility No. 22 (GCF-22) and two gas compressor stations for utilizing casing-head gas at central processing facilities 1 and 2 were put into pilot production in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Urengoy oil and gas condensate field on March 26, 2010. These facilities are vital not only for Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy and Gazprom, but also for the whole of Russia.
The ceremony was attended by a Gazprom delegation led by First Deputy Head of the Department of Investments and Construction Vyacheslav Sorkin, Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy senior officials and specialists, representatives of the construction firms that had built the production facilities, and special guests.
The commissioning of GCF-22 will allow the company to stabilize annual hydrocarbon production since the Urengoy oil and gas condensate field is largely depleted with the upper Cenomanian gas pay zone being more than 60 percent used up, and the next, Valanginian, zone being almost half empty. This is why specialists link prospects for gas production in Urengoy to the Achim deposits.
The commissioning of the gas compressor stations will make it possible to solve not only economic but also environmental tasks, specifically reduce casing-head gas losses to 95 percent, cut hazardous emissions considerably, and improve the reliability of gas-lift gas systems used for oil production at more than 70 percent of operating oil wells.
Gas compressor stations built and commissioned at the Urengoy oil and gas condensate field in a record short time despite the global financial and economic crisis represent an important contribution to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the policy of the Russian president and government in favor of environmentally friendly technologies.
During the gas compressor station commissioning ceremony, Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy Chief Engineer and First Deputy Director-General Grigory Lanchakov ordered the flares to be put out at the central processing facilities. After the giant flame, which had burnt away millions of cubic meters of natural gas for years, subsided, dozens of green air balloons were released into the sky, symbolizing a new environmentally friendly period in the work of the oil and gas production unit of Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy.
“On behalf of the Gazprom management, I thank everyone who helped build and commission the gas compressor stations,” First Deputy Head of Gazprom's Department of Investments and Construction Vyacheslav Sorkin said at the ceremony. “We have successfully implemented a pilot casing-head gas recycling project, which has no commercial value for us but which is essential for Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy and the whole gas industry. Its main value and purpose is in improving the environment and making an important contribution to the implementation of Gazprom’s environmental policy.”
The ceremony was followed by the commissioning of GCF-22 for pilot production. When noting the importance of the event, Chief Engineer Grigory Lanchakov said, addressing the people in front of the GCF-22 service and operation block:
“The successful development of the Achim formation is an important and significant event for our company, a new stage in the development of the unique Urengoy field. For the first time in the history of the gas industry we have begun producing hydrocarbons from hard-to-access Achim strata which are much more difficult to develop than the traditional Senomanian and Valanginian ones. The new plant has become a proving ground for up-to-date technologies and effective solutions.”
The construction of gas condensate production facility No. 22, unique in complexity of development and production, began in July 2006 by Urengoygazspetsstroimontazh as general contractor. The Achim deposits are known for the maximum hydrocarbon occurrence depth of almost four kilometers, abnormally high formation pressure of over 600 atmospheres, and heavy paraffins. This required new construction solutions and technologies for the treatment of gas with high condensate content, which differed from those used by Urengoy builders and gasmen traditionally.
When GCF-22 starts operating at designated capacity, it is expected to produce about 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas and about 0.88 million tons of gas condensate a year.
The main recoverable hydrocarbon reserves of the Achim deposits in the Nadym-Pur-Taz region of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area are concentrated in the Urengoy oil and gas condensate field. Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy (100-percent subsidiary of Gazprom) holds the license for the development of the Urengoy field. The Achim deposits contain more than one trillion cubic meters of Category C1 natural gas and 200 million tons of gas condensate in Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy’s section alone.
Celebrations marking the commissioning of the unique facilities ended at the cultural and sport center Gazodobytchik, where a large group of Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy specialists received industry and departmental awards for their contribution to the development of the Urengoy oil and gas complex.