MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s third largest oil firm TNK-BP and US energy services major Halliburton have signed a deal for a pilot oil drilling project at the licensed Em-Egovskoye field in West Siberia, TNK-BP Operations and Asset Management Vice-President Oleg Mikhailov said on Tuesday.
The project envisages the use of modern technologies to extract hard-to-access oil, which is a priority for TNK-BP, Mikhailov said. Hard-to-recover reserves are those hydrocarbons whose development was inexpedient under existing technologies and the present tax regime, he said.
TNK-BP plans to invest over $100 million in pilot technologies to gain access to hard-to-recover and non-conventional reserves in 2013. Additional oil production from these pilot projects should yield over 30 million barrels in 2013-2015.
The deposits of West Siberia, the largest petroleum basin in the world, have been intensively developed since the Soviet period, and are now largely depleted. Their fields require modern technologies and a special tax regime to make recovery of more oil viable.
TNK-BP is currently holding talks with the Russian government on preferential taxes for the Tyumen oil formation where the project is being implemented and expects this issue will be resolved by late 2013, he said.
TNK-BP already has a similar contract with Schlumberger oil services company for pilot oil drilling project at the Severo-Khokhryakovsky field in West Siberia, and is looking for a contractor for a pilot project to develop high-viscosity oil at the Van-Yegansky field.
Halliburton’s remuneration will depend on the volume of crude output, Mikhailov said.