RUSSIA: ExxonMobil says new technology helps reduce environmental impact

(EnergyAsia, February 18, Monday) — Exxon Mobil Corporation said its technology has resulted in another world record-setting well at the Sakhalin-1 oil project in eastern Russia, enabling the production of more energy while reducing the impact on the environment.

The well was drilled from land, using the world’s most powerful land-based rig and employing extended-reach technology, to a target area in the oil reservoir located under the ocean about 11 km from shore – roughly the distance of 125 US football fields.

“This drilling success has contributed to other Sakhalin-1 project achievements, including the commencement of production five years after the project was declared commercial and 100 marine tanker shipments in the first year of export operations,” said Morris Foster, president of ExxonMobil Production Company.

“Employing extended-reach technology to drill onshore beneath the seafloor to offshore oil and gas deposits eliminates the need for additional offshore structures, pipelines and associated activities.”

The project team at Sakhalin-1, which is operated by the corporation’s subsidiary in Russia, Exxon Neftegas Limited, used ExxonMobil’s leading-edge technologies to drill the record Z-12 well in half the time needed by conventional technology.

ExxonMobil said it used its Integrated Hole Quality technology to manage a broad range of well variables, including rock strength and stresses and well-bore hydraulics, together with an optimisation process called Fast Drill, which analyzes the amount of energy used to make the drilling process faster and more efficient.

The Z-12 well is located in the Chayvo field, which contains 17 of the world’s 30 longest extended reach drilling wells, and set a record by achieving a measured depth of 11,680 meters, or more than seven miles. This exceeds by 398 meters the prior world record set in 2007 by Exxon Neftegas Limited’s Z-11 well at the Sakhalin-1 project.

Over the life of the project, Sakhalin-1 is expected to contribute over US$50 billion to Russia’s economy in taxes, royalty payments and the state’s share of oil production. The project currently has awarded over US$4.4 billion in contracts to Russian companies. The proportion of Russian nationals working in project operations will approach 90% of the workforce as they are trained and gain experience.

Exxon Neftegas Limited (30%) is operator for the Sakhalin-1 project, which includes the Japanese company Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd (30%), affiliates of Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company, RN-Astra (8.5%), Sakhalinmorneftegas-Shelf (11.5%), and the Indian state-owned oil company ONGC Videsh Ltd (20%).

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