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Tapping tight oil: field service providers master technologies of dealing with low-permeability plays

This is an abridged version. The full text is avaiable to subscribers to The Russian Energy weekly.

Providers of field services are ready to employ advanced EOR technologies when hard-to-recover oil reserves are awarded tax reductions next year. The operator may use both domestic inventions and techniques developed in the USA and Canada for shale reserves.

Service stimulation

The market of technologies for developing hard-to-recover oil reserves is going to grow by 5% this year even though the tax incentives, introduced by governmental Order 700-r, are not going to be in place before 2013. Service providers are busily preparing for capitalizing on the promised benefits.

The largest growth of the market is expected in Western Siberia, the treasure trove of Russian tight and viscous oil. Over 80% of developed reservoirs in that zone are officially recognized as hard-to-recover, mainly because of poor permeability of rock. The tax benefits, when they are enacted, will make an impact on 91 oil fields with 1,150 reservoirs in them.

Service providers are prepared to employ dozens of different technologies to develop such reserves, and the choice frequently depends on the budget the operator can allocate.

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