Last year was extremely difficult for our country, however, as well as for the whole world. Unfortunately, fuel and energy business including Russian was not an exception as well. However such global energy companies as Gazprom managed to adapt for a new situation and continued to realize the tasks facing them successfully.

Even in such a sector as geological exploration sensitive to economic crises. Let’s remind that planning prospecting works PAO Gazprom is carried out taking into account need of performance of the strategic target indicators (STI) of the first level regarding achievement of coefficient of completion of stocks equal to one. In 2020 this coefficient made 1.07 in a segment of gas business. Thus, this indicator despite all difficulties and crises steadily has been keeping above one for 16 years in a row.

Strategy, policy and plans of prospecting works of PAO Gazprom are defined by the current purposes and tasks with need of achievement of the strategic target indicators levels approved by Board of Directors of the company. The prospecting works key directions in a segment of gas business are defined by the long-term program of development for 10 years and The program of development of mineral resources of the gas industry on the period till 2045 which has been developing by JSC Gazprom VNIIGAZ since 2002 (amendments are introduced in it annually by the institute).
Today for development of mineral resources (MR) of PAO Gazprom three directions are key. Preparation of stocks of Nadsenomansky, Neocomian, Achimovsky and Jurassic oil and gas complexes — their involvement in development will provide maintenance of stable production in a zone of Uniform System of Gas Supply of Russia. Development of mineral resources base on the Russian continental shelf which is urged to provide a gain of stocks in coordination with terms of input of fields in development and preparation of stocks within creation of the new centers of gas production in the east of Russia — at the moment it, first of all, the end of prospecting works on the Kovykta field.

General results

In 2020 Gazprom for the purpose of search and investigation of deposits of hydrocarbons and also structures for the underground storage of gas (USG) in the territory of Russia executed 5.3 thousand of seismic surveys 3D, 23 exploration and evaluation wells are finished with construction, the volume of drilling made 60.3 thousand meters. As a result of the executed prospecting works last year opening was confirmed and statement on the State balance of a new field on the shelf of the Kara Sea, which is large on classification of stocks of 75 years of the Victory was executed. Five new deposits on earlier opened fields were also revealed: Leningrad — on the shelf of the Kara Sea, Bear — in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area (YNAA) and named after P. Mangazeev — in Tomsk region.
The gain of reserves of hydrocarbons of PAO Gazprom due to carrying out prospecting works in the territory of the Russian Federation made totally in an oil equivalent 498.9 million tons of equivalent fuel, including 484.6 billion cubic meters of gas, as well as 14.3 million tons of gas condensate and oil. Thus the coefficient of completion of reserves of the PAO Gazprom natural gas made 1.07.
The most essential gain of reserves of natural gas is received on the Leningrad gas-condensate field– 224.2 billion cubic meters. In addition, last year calculation of stocks on the gas field (GF) of “75 years of the Victory” opened in 2019 within Skuratovsky and partially Beloostrovsky subsoil plots during drilling of an exploration and appraisal well is executed. As a result reserves of natural gas on the category C1 – 72.7 billion cubic meters, on the sum of the categories C1+C2 — 202.4 billion cubic meters are entered in books.
In total last year PAO Gazprom and its subsidiaries representing gas business, carried out prospecting works in Russia on 123 license sites, thereof 23 settle down on a continental shelf. Key areas of geological exploration of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area steel, the Arctic shelf, the Far East (with adjacent sites of the shelf), Eastern Siberia and the European part of our country.


In the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area prospecting works were carried out on license sites of JSC Gazprom Dobycha Nadym, JSC Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy, JSC Gazprom Dobycha Yamburg, JSC Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk and JSC Severneftegazprom for ensuring maintenance of levels of production of the operating fields in zone of Uniform System of Gas Supply, as well as for the purpose of preparation for development of the stocks of the Tambeysky oil and gas condensate field (OGCF). Thus projects on three key prospecting directions were implemented in the region.
First, preparation for development of stocks of the Achimovsky and the Jurassic deposits on existing fields proceeded. Last year here three wells in which, at test of productive layers, inflow intensification methods, including hydraulic fracturing of layer were applied, were finished with construction. Secondly, search and investigation of Nadsenomansky gas complex within the program of the accelerated preparation of the corresponding reserves of hydrocarbons for maintenance of gas production in zone of Uniform System of Gas Supply of Russia were conducted. In particular, borehole tests the Nadsenomansky deposits were carried out, horizontal trunks of wells were drilled — there was a preparation for an intensification of inflow of gas to them by method of multistage hydraulic fracturing of layer. Thirdly, preparation for development of stocks the Neokom — Jurassic deposits was carried out and also the accelerated carrying out prospecting works on gas-condensate field of the Yamal Peninsula — project works are performed on additional exploration of the Bovanenkovsky and Tambeysky OGCF, and also Harasaveysky gas condensate field.
In particular, on the Tambeysky field and Malyginsky gas condensate field (it is included in the Tambeysky industrial zone) last year the works on the comprehensive program of prospecting works which realization started in 2009 were completed. For these years 2650 of seismic exploration 3D were executed in total and construction of 18 wells was finished by total driving of 62.75 thousand meters. Thus, in 2020 on the first of these fields seismic surveys and electrical exploration works 3D on the area of 2745 were fully completed. Also on the Tambeysky OGCF last year drilling of two prospecting wells began.

Arctic shelf

On the Arctic shelf of Russia works on 19 license sites — Kruzenshternsky, Antipayutinsky, Tota-Yakhinsky, Beloostrovsky, Leningrad, Rusanovsky, Nyarmeysky, Skuratovsky, West Sharapovsky, North Harasaveysky, Amderminsky, Obruchevsky, Nevsky, Sea, Ludlovsky, Ice, Bear, Demidovsky and Fersmanovsky were performed.
Here last year one prospecting well was finished with construction on the Leningrad gas condensate field — driving made 2700 meters. Creation of uniform seismogeological model of Leningrad, North Harasaveysky and Nevsky subsoil plots of federal value based on reprocessing and reinterpretation of materials of seismic exploration 3D was also completed (4810 Besides, expeditious calculations of reserves of hydrocarbons of the Leningrad gas-condensate field and gas field “75 years of the Victory”, on which the certificate on establishment of the fact of its opening was received, were executed. Thanks to the carried out works the resource base of the Yamal center of gas production besides opening of a new large-scale deposit of natural gas on the Priyamalsky shelf considerably was increased, the new data testifying about much bigger efficiency of the Leningrad gas-condensate field than it had been supposed were obtained.
However, PAO Gazprom key prospecting projects on continental shelf of Russia last year were not only prospecting works in the Kara Sea for the purpose of ensuring completion of stocks and formation of their strategic reserve, but also accelerated preparation of resources of hydrocarbons of the Central Boundary license site received in 2019 in the Sea of Okhotsk on the Sakhalin shelf.

The Far East

In the Far East prospecting works are conducted on the peninsula of Kamchatka and the adjacent shelf and also on the shelf of Sakhalin. Here prospecting works are carried out for maintenance of acting and creations of the new centers of gas production. In particular, in 2020 on the Far East shelf works on four license sites: Kirinsky, Vostochno-Odoptinsky, Zapadno- Kamchatsky and Centralno-Pogranichny were performed.
Importance of the accelerated preparation of stocks on Sakhalin shelf is connected with a need of loading of plant on liquefied natural gas production (LNG) within the Sakhalin-II project. As since 2028, resource base of Lunsky and Piltun-Astokhsky fields will be insufficiently for utilization of capacity of this plant. The second factor of acceleration of preparation of stocks on the shelf of Sakhalin is a need of ensuring supply of natural gas from Russia to China along the Far East route.
Last year positive expert opinions of Federal State Budgetary Institution Rosgeolekspertiza on projects of search and estimated works on Vostochno-Odoptinsky and Centralno-Pogranichny sites were received, as well as the project on work on geological studying of subsoil, including searches and assessment of fields of hydrocarbon raw materials on Zapadno- Kamchatsky subsoil plot was developed.

Eastern Siberia

In Eastern Siberia PAO Gazprom conducts prospecting works in Irkutsk region, in Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Krasnoyarsk Krai. Last year six wells were finished there with construction — driving made in total 14.153 thousand meters. Seismic exploration 3D was executed in the volume of 604, electric prospecting 3D in the volume 670 The gain of stocks following the results of prospecting works reached over 117 million tons of equivalent fuel, including more than 115 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 2 million tons of oil and gas condensate.
In the Irkutsk region geological exploration was carried out on seven license sites: Chikansk, Yuzhno-Ust-Kutsk, Kovykta, Handinsky, Mamyrsky-1, Mamyrsky-2 and Mamyrsky-3. Five wells within the Kovykta gas condensate field were finished with construction: three — on Handinsk and two — on Kovykta sites. Driving made more than 9.2 thousand meters. In addition, drilling of other wells on the Kovykta site and Handinskaya Square was carried out, their test, including with carrying out multistage hydraulic fracturing of layer was made. Drilling of an exploration and appraisal well on Yuzhno-Ust-Kutsk license site proceeded. Also last year field seismic surveys 3D MGDP (method of the general deep point) on the Handinsky site with total amount of 5.686 thousand were completed — in 2020 this method investigated 370, electric investigation 3D — 670 was executed. Electric investigation by technology of sounding by method formation of a field in a near zone on platforms of prospecting wells of the Chikansky site is carried out. Electric investigation 3D technology of sounding by method formation of a field in a near zone and low-deep technology of sounding by method of formation of a field in a near zone on the Handinsky site began. Expeditious calculation of stocks on the Kovykta and Handinsky license sites of the Kovykta gas-condensate field was executed. Projects of the first stage of search and estimated works in limits of Mamyrskogo-1, Mamyrsky-2 and subsoil plots Mamyrskogo-3 which assume carrying out in their limits of seismic exploration of MGDP 3D were developed.
In Yakutia prospecting works were carried out last year on five license sites: Chayandinsky, Verkhnevilyuchansky, Sobolokh-Nedzhelinsky, Srednetyungsky and Tas-Yuryakhsky. Here one prospecting well on the Verkhnevilyuchansky OGCF at which test inflow of gas-condensate mix with an industrial output is received was finished with construction. Drilling of a well on Sobolokh-Nedzhelinsky gas-condensate field is begun. Prospecting works on Chayandinskoye oil and gas field are continued — two wells were drilled. Work on specification of a geological structure and oil-and-gas content of productive deposits of the Chayandinsky field on the basis of complex interpretation of results of explorative and development drilling and data of seismic exploration 3D is performed. The three-dimensional geological model of Chayanda is constructed. Expeditious calculation of stocks of Chayandinsky, Verkhnevilyuchansky and Tas-Yuryakhsky fields is made. And also the project of search and estimated stage of prospecting works on Chayandinskaya Square for the purpose of construction of underground storage of helium in rock salt is developed — positive expert opinion of Federal State Budgetary Institution Rosgeolekspertiza is received.
In the territory of Krasnoyarsk Krai in 2020 the works on eight license sites: Taimbinsky, Abakan, Yudokonsky, Verkhnemanzinsk, Karabulsk, Troitsk, Ilbokichsk and Imbinsk were performed. Here the exploration and appraisal well on Imbinskaya Square was finished with drilling. In addition, performance of field seismic survey works of MGDP 3D on the Abakan license site with a total amount of 284 was complete — last year 234 were passed. And also offers on further carrying out prospecting works in Krasnoyarsk Krai on license sites of PAO Gazprom and subsidiaries are developed.

European part

In the European part of Russia according to the Comprehensive program of development of oil and gas extraction complex of Astrakhan region developed for the purpose of increase in production of hydrogen sulfide-containing gas and organization of underground storages of acid gases in the water-bearing (suprasalt) horizons works on the Astrakhan gas condensate field is begun. Here the purpose of prospecting works is search and assessment of structures for underground storage of acid gases. In 2020 seismic exploration 3D for geological studying of a field was begun.
Meanwhile, in parallel with carrying out of prospecting works in strategic regions of presence Gazprom continued to fulfill technologies of development of resources of nonconventional gas, in particular in Kuzbass.


According to the strategy of PAO Gazprom for implementation of the project of production of methane from coal layers, last year active phase of prospecting works on methane coal deposits and the areas in the Kemerovo region was continued.
In particular, for confirmation of efficiency of the project and preparation for industrial development construction of three systems of prospecting wells on the Naryksko-Ostashkinsky methane coal deposit is begun. Each of these systems consists of one multi-hole drainage well and one vertical production well crossing it. Such a technology of development of methane coal deposits, according to specialists of Gazprom, is the most perspective in the world and will allow increasing efficiency of operational wells repeatedly. In 2020 on the basis of this technology and with use of domestic equipment only one system of wells was drilled by total driving of 5227 m. Also two more systems with the end of construction in the current year were begun with drilling. And beginning of preparatory and project works for industrial development of the Naryksko-Ostashkinsky methane coal deposit is planned for next year.
For further development of the project on production of methane from coal layers last year the complex of search and estimated works on Tutuyasskaya Square was continued. Six structural wells were drilled and investigated. The core for studying of characteristics of layers was selected. The total driving made 6840 m of rocks here. The works on design of construction on this square of exploration and appraisal wells are begun. The active phase of search and estimated works on Tutuyasskaya Square is planned in 2023-2024 as a result of which statement on the state balance of a new Tutuyassky methane coal deposit is expected.

Foreign projects

The global operator of foreign projects of Gazprom in the field of search, investigation and development of fields of hydrocarbons Gazprom EP International B.V in 2020 continued conducting of geological exploration outside Russia. The main efforts were directed on implementation of prospecting works in Algeria, Bolivia and Uzbekistan and also on the shelf of the British and the Netherlands sectors of the North Sea.
So, in Algeria, during studying of prospects of two open gas-condensate fields of Rhourde Sayah (RSH) and Northern Rhourde Sayah Nord (RSHN) last year were executed structural and dynamic reinterpretation of seismic data 3D and also works on sheeted modeling were carried out. The obtained data will be used by consideration of expediency of participation of Gazprom Group in development of these fields.
In Bolivia geological exploration on the site Asero (Azero) proceeded. Last year construction of a search well of 5830 m in depth was complete here. However as a result of drilling absence of oil and gas potential object in a target interval was established and a decision on elimination of the well was made.
In Uzbekistan within the Agreements signed with PAO Gazprom and JSC Uzbekneftegaz in 2017 including as well joint carrying out prospecting works on perspective investment blocks, in 2020 the works on pre-investment researches — on studying and assessment of perspective geological objects were carried out.

In the North Sea joint venture of the Wintershall Dea and Gazprom EP International companies — Wintershall Noordzee B.V. last year concentrated the main volume of prospecting works on the perspective object Sillimanite South located to the southeast from a gas field Sillimanite. The results of drilling and test of a well of D12-08 allowed staticizing an assessment of resources of this sea site. Also in 2020 the works on studying of prospects of an asset of Oslo as a part of the fields Kelvin, Boulton and Ketch located in the British sector of the North Sea were begun.

Importance of import substitution

It is not a secret that now the main problems at implementation of prospecting works in domestic gas industry are severe climatic conditions in the majority of areas of work and their essential remoteness from bases of supply that defines high complexity of logistic schemes of stable and timely delivery of material resources «to the point». Including, taking into account activation of geological exploration on the Arctic shelf, the shortest navigation period plays large role for which it is necessary to manage to make that in traditional areas of activity it would be possible to finish in the quiet mode for much more long time. Thus any delay, breakage or not joining of plans for any other reasons can lead to increase in terms and, respectively, the cost of implementation of projects. Therefore here the use of the most modern and the reliable, tested equipment is necessary. However at the existing sanctions restrictions and the actual lack of access to foreign technologies, the equipment and materials, this task considerably becomes complicated. Active development of a modern hi-tech domestic complex of the equipment and services which is not conceding to foreign analogs is required to solve this problem. At present it is especially topical for implementation of projects on the shelf, including at a geological exploration stage. In these conditions Gazprom makes active efforts on realization of import substitution policy.
In particular, the relevant methodical documents are developed for optimization of carrying out of prospecting works and increase of their efficiency on the Arctic shelf. For example, recommendations about selection of representative tests of reservoir waters in an open trunk of wells on oil and gas by logging-cable formation testers, and also on coring by side-wall sample taker on sea license sites for preparation of materials for calculation of stocks. By the way, application of technology of research of hydrodynamic parameters of productive layers in an open trunk of wells with use of modern devices on a cable allowed to reduce significantly terms of construction of search and estimated and prospecting wells under trying conditions of the Arctic seas almost twice — for one summer-autumn navigation period in the Kara Sea instead of two seasons. Realization of this approach showed high economic efficiency.
The works directed on gradual increase in level of involvement of production resources of JSC Gazprom Subsoil in a segment of geophysical surveys and works in wells including with attraction of modern, latest development of domestic producers of the geophysical equipment are continued. The Russian special complexes of geographic information systems (GIS), such as high resolution micro imager, 8-component cross-dipolar acoustic logging and pulse spectrometer neutron gamma logging directed on analysis of collection properties of the studied section are so far technically realized and are widely applied on sites of PAO Gazprom.
For increase of efficiency of carrying out prospecting works on continental shelf Gazprom subsoil conducts preparation of project documentation on development of modern devices for approbation of productive layers on a cable in an open trunk of wells. Besides, questions of carrying out seismic survey works on the shelf by the domestic ground registering systems are studied now. So, when performing seismic survey works 3D on Left-bank part of Astrakhan gas condensate field the produced in Russia vibration source Batyr and system of synchronization of GDS-2 were applied. Vibration sources showed good result and do not concede in anything to import analogs.
In addition, Gazprom Subsoil created a working group for the purpose of ensuring coordination of production and carrying out tests of underwater production hydrocarbons system for needs of PAO Gazprom. In particular, the system of underwater columned heads (SUCH) applied to construction of search and estimated and prospecting wells with an underwater arrangement of the mouth of a well. Based on the developed working documentation production and test of a prototype of SUCH is planned.

Plans of prospecting work and prospects

In 2021 for the purpose of search of oil fields and gas and also for the structures of underground gas storages PAO Gazprom plans to execute 6647 of seismic survey 3D in the territory of the Russian Federation, to drill 74.3 thousand running meters of rocks, to finish with construction 31 exploration and evaluation wells. It is supposed to receive a gain of stocks in number of 497.2 billion cubic meters of gas and 8.6 million tons of liquid hydrocarbons. The main gain of stocks is expected on the shelf of the Kara Sea and in Western Siberia.
This year the works on the accelerated carrying out geological exploration on the fields of Yamal — Bovanenkovsky, Harasaveysky and Tambeysky, systematic prospecting works on the Russian continental shelf (in the Kara Sea and on the Sakhalin shelf) and key fields in Eastern Siberia — Kovykta, Chayandinsky and its satellites, on the sites in Krasnoyarsk and Kamchatka edges, as  well as the operating fields in zone of Uniform System of Gas Supply of Russia in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area and in the European part of Russia will be continued.
So, in the territory of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area it is planned to execute 1308 of seismic surveys 3D and to finish with construction six wells. The main efforts will be concentrated on carrying out of prospecting works on Bovanenkovsky, Harasaveysky, Malyginsky and Tambeysky group of fields, and also on preparation of stocks of the deep-laying horizons of the operating fields. In particular, on the Tambeysky oil and gas condensate field in 2021 test of the achimovsky objects in two prospecting wells which construction started last year is planned, and also drilling of three new prospecting wells is supposed. On Malyginsky gas condensate field, according to the drawn-up plans, prospecting drilling will begin in 2023 and now field seismic surveys 3D and electric exploration are carried out here. As of current year Gazprom will also pay special attention to the Sopochny license site located on Gydana. The license for use of natural resources of this area was obtained in 2020. Carrying out state examination of the project of its geological studying is planned. It is supposed that in 2021-2023 here on the area of 780 will be executed seismic exploration 3D and electric exploration. And further, based on results of this work, an exploration and evaluation well will be drilled here that opens prospects of discovery of a new large-scale deposit of hydrocarbons.
On the shelf of the Kara Sea this year construction of two wells — search and estimated on Skuratovsk and prospecting on Leningrad license sites is planned. In 2022 it is supposed to put out with drilling on Ledovoye gas condensate field to the Barents Sea. In total in the next four years it is planned to construct five wells on the Priyamalsky shelf and to execute seismic exploration of over 5 thousand
On the Centralno- Pogranichny license site received in 2019 on the Sakhalin shelf it is supposed to perform this year seismic surveys 3D (about 3 thousand that will allow specifying geological structure of perspective objects in the Sea of Okhotsk for the purpose of their preparation for exploration and evaluation drilling.
Processing and interpretation of all volume of seismic survey 3D data, received on Handinsky and Chikansky sites of the Kovykta gas condensate field will be carried out this year. Besides, the task to unite all available information on the Kovykta field and to create its complete geological and geomechanical model is set. It is planned in the long term to finish tests of wells on the Kovykta and Handinsky license sites, to put into commercial operation horizontal wells of dual purpose (last year there were four of them under construction according to the program of test operation), which have different options of completion (with use of the operated hydraulic fracturing couplings and full-pass filters). It is also planned to begin drilling on the Chikansky license site. Till 2023 it is supposed to carry out field seismic surveys 3D and electrical exploration works on all Mamyrsky sites, having captured not less than 1400, having prepared them for exploration and evaluation drilling. By the way, a preparatory work to it on license sites of Mamyrsky-1 and Mamyrsky-2 will begin directly this year.
In the next some years starting with this one construction of more than ten prospecting wells on Chayandinsky oil and gas field is planned. And from next year drilling of new wells and on other Yakut fields is supposed.
In Krasnoyarsk Krai tests of exploration and evaluation well on the East Imbinsky field proceed. On Abakan and Ilbokichsky sites preparation for drilling planned for 2024 is conducted.
On the Astrakhan field this year seismic surveys 3D will be continued.
As for foreign projects, in 2021 Gazprom EP International B.V. plans to continue implementation of all assumed license obligations under the existing projects in full and in established periods and also to conduct active search of new economic projects.
Let’s remind that in 2015 Strategy of development of production activity of PAO Gazprom abroad by which the following strategic tasks and the principles are defined was accepted: formation of the integrated chains of creation of a value added from geological exploration and production to the end user; optimization of a portfolio of foreign projects taking into account intra corporate requirements to their economic efficiency; intensification of cooperation with strategic partners in the foreign markets and implementation of the joint projects directed on strengthening and development of new technologies and competences; exception of the competition of foreign deliveries to the Russian gas.
Implementation of Gazprom EP International projects will accurately correspond to the principles and established tasks designated by PAO Gazprom.