Exploration Activities

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 and comprehensive approach to exploration and development of its fields and license areas, from 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 and environmentally prudent manner.

In 2018, NOVATEK continued exploration on the Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas to expand the resource base of LNG projects.

With a prospecting well drilled in the shallow waters of the Ob Bay we discovered the North-Obskoye field. This discovery represented the world’s largest standalone gas condensate field find in 2018. Aggregate reserves of natural gas and condensate approved by the State Reserves Commission according to the Russian reserves classification amounted to 322 bcm and 16 mmt, respectively.

With the testing of a prospecting well at the Utrenneye field, we discovered two new gas condensate deposits and confirmed the commercial productivity of the field’s Middle Jurassic layers. Total natural gas reserves in the newly discovered deposits within the Utrenniy license area held by Arctic LNG 2 amounted to 405 bcm of natural gas and 40 mmt of gas condensate. Taking into account these new deposits, the field’s total reserves amount to around 2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 105 mmt of liquids. The reserves were approved by the State Reserves Commission. By adding new deposits we improve the field's resource potential and open up additional prospects in the execution of Arctic LNG 2.

An exploration well drilled to the Jurassic layers at the South-Tambeyskoye field showed a significant flow with 430 mcm/day of gas and 81 tons/day (743 barrels/day) of stable condensate. The estimated reserves based on the Jurassic layers will be submitted to the State Reserves Commission for a formal expert review in 2019.

A prospecting well in the Nyakhartinskiy license area tested a commercial flow with 160 mcm/day of gas and 109 tons/day (938 barrels/day) of gas condensate. This field is geographically next to the well-developed infrastructure of the Yurkharovskoye field and is an important discovery for NOVATEK to maintain its production levels within the UGSS. The reserves will be submitted for expert review by the State Reserves Commission in 2019.

We have commenced an active exploration program at the Gydanskoye field.  An initial prospecting well discovered significant oil and gas potential in the Achimov deposits.

In 2018, we continuted 3D seismic exploration at the Gydanskiy, North-Obskiy, West-Solpatinskiy, Verkhneteuteyskiy, and West-Seyakhinskiy license areas located on the Yamal and Gydan pensisulas.

In order to maintain pipeline gas production level and unstable gas condensate volumes sent to the Purovsky Plant, we continued exploration in the fields and license areas within the Nadym-Pur-Taz district located in the YNAO.

At the Yurkharovskoye field, a well was drilled to further explore lower Jurassic deposits, which confirmed the commercial productivity of the Jurassic gas condensate formations. We are preparing to test the well in 2019.

In the North-Russkoye, Kharbeyskoye and Dorogovskoye license areas (collectively referred as the “North-Russkoye cluster”), three prospecting wells were drilled to confirm oil and gas potential and to define commercial productivity, a prerequisite required to prepare the fields for development.

In the Samburgskiy license area, the successful exploratory drilling confirmed productivity of the Achimov layers, where a commercial flow of gas condensate at testing of wells was received. Seismic data and drilling results indicated the prospects for new discoveries in the drilled layers as well as deeper horizons.

The well testing for the Jurassic layers at the Yarudeyskoye field showed a commercial flow with 206 mcm/day of gas and 19 tons/day (162 barrels/day) of gas condensate.

In the reporting year, we shot 2,926 linear km of 2D seismic and 4,759 square km of 3D seismic works, as well as drilled a total of 36,100 meters of prospecting and exploration wells.

The successful exploration works contributed 989 bcm of gas and 61 mmt of liquids to NOVATEK’s reserves under the Russian reserves classification, as well as 164 bcm of gas and 34 mmt of liquids to our PRMS reserves.