Gazprom greenlights next Yamal gas project
Thursday, Jul 19, 2018
Gazprom has signed off on the development of another supergiant gas field on the Yamal Peninsula – a region tipped to become Russia’s next biggest hub for gas production.

At a meeting on July 13, the company’s management approved plans to bring the Kharaseyskoye gas deposit on stream by 2023. The field straddles the coast of the Kara Sea, north of Bovanenkovo – Gazprom’s only field on the peninsula that has entered production. Discovered in the 1970s, Kharaseyskoye contains an estimated 2 tcm of gas in C1+C2 reserves.

Development work is due to start next year. The project’s first stage will target reservoirs within Aptian and Cenomanian layers. Clusters of gas wells will be built, along with a gas treatment plant, a booster compressor station and various power and transport infrastructure.

Output is slated to reach a plateau of 32 bcm per year. This gas will be pumped via a 100-km pipeline to Bovanenkovo, and from there through Russia’s main gas grid for sale in Europe. Further development stages will focus on deeper reservoirs located within Neocomian and Jurassic rock.

According to Gazprom, gas wells targeting offshore reserves will be drilled from the coast, which should reduce costs. Wells will be sunk using thermally insulated tubing and casing to avoid the nearby permafrost from melting.

Yamal is expected to emerge as Russia’s main centre for gas production, displacing the Nadym-Pur-Taz region located further south, where output is declining. Under the Yamal Megaproject, Gazprom aims to launch up to 32 fields on the peninsula with combined reserves of 26.5 tcm of gas, 1.6 billion tonnes of gas condensate and 300 million tonnes (2.2 billion barrels) of crude oil. Output could reach as high as 360 bcm per year, up from 82.8 bcm in 2017.

Speaking at the meeting, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that developing Yamal’s gas resources was an “ambitious strategic goal of national importance.” The company is anticipated to commission the third and final stage of the Bovanenkovo project later this year, causing output to climb to 115 bcm per year.

Kharaseyskoye was chosen as the next target for development because of its close proximity to Bovanenkovo. Its launch should facilitate the future development of the nearby Leningradskoye and Rusanovskoye fields in the Kara Sea. But given the cost and complexity of Arctic offshore drilling, Gazprom has said in the past it does not expect to begin developing these deposits until the 2030s.

Gazprom intends to deliver gas from the Kharaseyskoye field to market via the Yamal-Europe and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. But the latter project’s fate is still up in the air, amid opposition from the US and a number of EU member states.

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