In 1995 Total signed a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with the Russian Federation for the development and production of the Kharyaga oil field, situated 60km to the north of the Polar Circle in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and 140km away from the main base in Usinsk (Figure 1).
Figure 1

Kharyaga and Usinsk localization on a map

Figure 1

Kharyaga and Usinsk localization on a map

Figure 2

Nabors 536 on Kharyaga Pad EP-1

Figure 2

Nabors 536 on Kharyaga Pad EP-1

Kharyaga is Russia’s first onshore project under PSA terms. It is a key operational project for Total in Russia to date. Total (40%) operates the project in partnership with the Norwegian Statoil (30%) and two state Russian companies - Zarubezhneft (20%) and the Nenets Oil Company (10%).

The weather is particularly harsh at the rig site with a temperature far below 0°C from October to June. The average temperature is around -20°C and recent records show down to -53°C in winter time, without considering the wind chill effect.

Kharyaga consists of normally pressured or depleted reservoirs, at depths of up to 2850m TVD (TEPR object 2). It contains up to 1.2% H2S. The field is shared with another operator, presenting challenges for well design, and trajectory planning.

This paper discusses the main issues in planning, designing and preparing for a drilling campaign in the remote arctic environment of Russia, from field layout and location preparation through to operations performance in the extreme cold.

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