To-date, more than 450 heavy oil fields and deposits have been identified in the Republic of Tatarstan with oil-in-places ranging between 1.4 and 7.0 billion tons, according to different estimates. Thermal recovery has proved itself as a reliable method and seemed a logical solution however it did not work properly in vertical wells. Building on the experience of development of the Yaregskoye field (the Komi Republic, Russia) and oilsands in the Canadian province of Alberta, the focus was shifted on working out of recovery methods involving horizontal wells. Engineering solutions accounting for concrete geologic environment and the steam assisted gravity drainage method used for production of heavy oil aim at high-quality casing, leak control in the interstring space, sand control, etc. In shallow heavy oil reservoirs with variable oil saturation of utmost importance are production control practices to ensure profitable oil production, to maintain optimal steam-oil ratio and safe operating pressure to ensure cap rock integrity.

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