Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said that the company had the largest amount of explored natural gas reserves in the world, totalling 35.4 trillion cubic metres as of December 31, 2017.
Due to the adoption of a new Russian Classification of Reserves and Forecast Resources of Oil and Flammable Gases, Gazprom is currently re-estimating its hydrocarbon reserves and recording them in the state register, Gazprom said, adding that these procedures will probably be completed before the end of 2020.
As part of the program for the development of the mineral and raw material base until 2040, Gazprom said the Russian gas giant is making effective efforts to replenish the base and prepare hydrocarbon reserves for commercial development, with gas reserve addition rates surpassing its production rates over the past 13 years thanks to geological exploration.
In 2017, Gazprom produced 472.1 billion cubic meters of gas and added 852.9 billion cubic meters to its reserves, setting an absolute record (the reserve replacement ratio was 1.8). The total growth in gas reserves thanks to exploration in the period since 2002 when the program was launched, is 9.2 trillion cubic meters.
For the purposes of long-term gas production, Gazprom said it is in the process of conducting geological exploration in the Nadym-Pur-Taz region, the Yamal Peninsula, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Irkutsk Region, as well as offshore in the Arctic and Russia’s Far East.
According to Gazprom, shelf operations are concentrated in the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk. The number of fields discovered by Gazprom in that area since 1995 is 11, including the Severo-Kamennomysskoye, Kamennomysskoye-Sea and Yuzhno-Kirinskoye fields with their unique reserves. In the course of 2017, two exploratory wells were drilled in those seas, with 3D seismic surveys covering 7,400 square kilometres.
In 2018, the above operations resulted in a substantial reserve addition of 768 billion cubic meters of gas, including 667 billion cubic meters in the Leningradskoye field and 101 billion cubic meters in the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field. In 2018–2021, it is planned to complete the construction of eight wells and perform 3D seismic surveys of over 9,000 square kilometres.
In the eastern part of Russia, Gazprom noted that the company is actively preparing hydrocarbon reserves for commercial development in order to create new gas production centres. In 2017, Gazprom built two exploratory wells at the Kovyktinskoye field in the Irkutsk Region and started to drill another four, conducting 3D seismic surveys of 2,400 square kilometres. In 2018–2021, it is planned to complete the construction of 20 exploratory wells and conduct 3D seismic surveys of 3,800 square kilometres. In Yakutia, efforts are underway to further explore the Chayandinskoye, Tas-Yuryakhskoye, Verkhnevilyuchanskoye, Sobolokh-Nedzhelinskoye and Srednetyungskoye fields.
Last year, an exploratory well was built at the Tas-Yuryakhskoye field. In 2018–2021, 14 wells will be built within Gazprom’s licensed blocks. According to Gazprom, a traditional area for gas production – the Nadym-Pur-Taz region – still has potential in terms of reserve additions.
Gazprom said it is actively researching the deposits lying both under and above the Cenomanian horizon that is being developed. Experts estimate the resource potential of the above-Cenomanian deposits at Gazprom’s fields in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area to be approximately 4 trillion cubic meters of gas.
The Achimov and Jurassic deposits in the region may contain up to 40 trillion cubic meters of gas. Gazprom said the company is using advanced technologies for drilling and well surveying to develop those formations, as their geological structure is more complicated.