Characteristics of Bazhenov oil allow it to claim the creation of its own commercial brand

Interview with Kirill Strizhnev, CEO of Gazprom Neft’s Bazhenov Technology Centre by RIA Novosti

RIA Novosti / News agency PRIME

Russia develops a new oil blend from West Siberia’s “tight” reserves

Some years ago, the United States delivered a revolution in oil production, succeeding in producing significant volumes of shale oil — a form of hard-to-recover or “tight” oil — through hydraulic fracturing technology. In Russia, future technologies for tight reserves are being developed at a test-facility at Gazprom Neft’s Bazhen Technology Centre, which is working on oil from Bazhen Formation. Kirill Strizhnev, CEO of Gazprom Neft’s Bazhen Technology Centre, talked to us about possibility of new revolutions, outlook for developing domestic technologies, and plans to develop a new oil blend, in this interview

— Kirill Vladimirovich, in your view, how fast does technology for developing hard-to-recover oil need to be developed in Russia to pull off its own shale revolution?

— The Bazhen Formation, like other sources of tight oil, could give a second wind to Russia’s oil-producing regions, where production of traditional hydrocarbons is declining. And one of the key objectives in developing the Bazhen Formation concerns extending the life of existing fields by loading up existing infrastructure. So, the word “revolution” isn’t so appropriate here. It’s more a case of “evolution”. Added to which, developing the Bazhen Formation — the most important source of unconventional hydrocarbon reserves in the world — is also the solution to quite a wide range of social issues in West Siberia’s cities, as well as extending exploration and production potential for the next 30–50 years.

Russia is currently producing about 600,000–800,000 tonnes of oil a year from the Bazhen Formation. We see scope — for the country, as a whole — to increase this figure to 10 million tonnes of oil per year by 2025. Gazprom Neft’s share in this figure will amount to about 2–2.5 million tonnes. And reaching plateau production in Bazhen oil — up to 50 million tonnes per year, which today would mean almost 10 percent of Russia’s total oil production — could happen as soon as 2030.

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