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NOVATEK aims to expand its resource base through geological exploration at fields and license areas not only in close proximity to existing transportation and production infrastructure, but also in new potentially prospective hydrocarbon areas. The Company ensures the efficiency of geological exploration work by deploying state-of-the-art technologies and relying on the experience and expertise of the specialists in its geology department, and the Company’s Scientific and Technical Center located in Tyumen.
The Company uses a systematic approach to exploration and development of its fields and license areas, beginning with the collection and interpretation of seismic data to the creation of dynamic field models for the placement of exploration and production wells. We employ modern geological and hydrodynamic modeling as well as new well drilling and completion techniques to maximize the ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons in a cost effective manner.
In 2012, full-scale exploration work began at our fields located on the Gydan Peninsula and offshore license areas in the Gulf of Ob, which were acquired in 2011. Exploration work activities also continued at fields and license areas in the Nadym-Pur-Taz region, including the Yurkharovskoye, West-Yurkharovskoye, North-Khancheyskoye and Yarudeyskoe fields and the Khancheyskiy, Olimpiyskiy, New-Yurkharovskiy and North-Russkiy license areas. The exploration activities at these fields targeted gas condensate and crude oil bearing Lower Cretaceous (including Achimov) and Jurassic deposits at subsurface depths of between 2,000 to 4,400 meters. We also continued exploration work at the South-Tambeyskoye field on the Yamal Peninsula.
In 2012, NOVATEK completed approximately 7,000 linear kilometers of two-dimensional (2D) seismic and 2,799 square km of three-dimensional (3D) seismic, including seismic activities run at our joint ventures. The major growth in seismic activities as compared to 2011 was due primarily to 2D seismic work activities in the Gulf of Ob and 3D work activities on the Gydan Peninsula. Exploration drilling totaled 36.2 thousand meters in 2012, as well as completing eight prospecting and exploration wells leading to discovery of five new deposits and a better understanding of the geology of previously discovered deposits.
As a result of exploration works, production drilling and the re-appraisal of reserves (excluding the effect from the acquisition of a stake in ZAO Nortgas), our recoverable natural gas reserves under the Russian reserve classification ABC1 + C2 increased by 218 bcm. Most of the recoverable reserve growth was at the Geofizicheskoye, Khancheyskoye, North-Khancheyskoye, Yarudeyskoe, Pyreinoye, Beregovoye, Samburgskoye, Urengoyskoye and Yaro-Yakhinskoye fields.