Vankor is the flagship mine of the Rosneft Oil Company in Eastern Siberia. Developmental drilling began there in mid-2006. The pace of the construction of wells and surface facilities has been among the fastest in Russia, with a 15 to 20% acceleration in annual drilling activities.
The Vankor field is located in the northwest of the Krasnoyarsk Territory in the Turuhansk area, near the Arctic Circle, and it is quite removed from population centers (the closest populated area being the town of Igarka at a distance of 142 km away). Motorized transportation is used on winter roads from December to May only. Because of these conditions, strict criteria must be applied in the planning and selection of drilling fluid for the drilling of wells. These criteria include environmental, technical, technological, geological, logistical, and economic aspects that are not satisfied when using classical potassium chloride (KCl) inhibited solutions.
This paper discusses the selection process for the drilling fluid used in the Vankor field, the evolution of its formulations, and laboratory studies of various geological samples. It also discusses the application expertise required, as well as the technical and economic benefits and advantages of using a highly effective, inhibited, non-dispersed drilling fluid system based on a fresh water solution at the Vankor field.