Termokarstovoye: Ahead of Schedule and Below Budget
In spring 2015, Terneftegaz CJSC, a joint venture between Total and Novatek JSC, brought the Termokarstovoye gas-condensate field on stream ahead of schedule.
As little as three and a half years passed from the final investment decision to commencement of production.
“We are delighted with the start up of Termokarstovoye, the first project executed together with our strategic partner in Russia Novatek, with whom we are also jointly developing the Yamal LNG project”, commented Michael Borell, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration & Production, Europe and Central Asia. “The project has been implemented ahead of schedule and below budget”.
The Termokarstovoe gas and condensate field is located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug 230 km east of the town of Tarko-Sale, near the Taz River.
Production started in May 2015, some 6 months ahead of the initial schedule. This remarkable achievement has become possible thanks to the synergy of the two partners’ strengths, competences and abilities. .
Production started in May 2015, some 6 months ahead of the initial schedule. This remarkable achievement has become possible thanks to the synergy of the two partners’ strengths, competences and abilities.
Drilling campaign 2013. A total of 22 production wells have been drilled on 4 pads in the Termokarstovoye field.
The first pile for the treatment plant was driven on February 8, 2014. The plant was put into operation in 2015, just 15 months later.
Pad-1, September 2015.
The nitrogen and air plant generates nitrogen to blow down and degas pipelines and equipment prior to installation and pre-commissioning.
Separation of gas from condensate is monitored in the control room. A centralized information management system monitors parameters at all facilities.
At present, around 240 people, including service contractors, are engaged in the project. They are working on 28-day rotation, so there are a total of about 120 people permanently present on the site. A fully equipped accommodation camp has been built on site
The field has a condensate de-ethanization plant to separate the ethane-ethylene fraction, thereby improving the quality of the finished product and reducing hazardous emissions to the athmosphere.
Zeolite adsorption technology is used to remove water at the gas dehydration plant.
Advanced Technologies Harnessed for Economic Efficiency and Safety
When working on the geological model of the field, Total’s geologists and geophysicists drew upon the Group’s vast experience and competent support of its research divisions. This model formed the basis for drilling extended-reach wells. Online navigation has made it possible to drill a well with a horizontal section more than 2000 m long, whose flow rate turned out to be 30% greater than expected. All development wells are equipped with downhole well surveillance sensors.
The profitability of the project relies on the maximum utilization of the liquid hydrocarbon production potential. For this purpose, the field’s production and treatment complex incorporates turbo-expanders facilitating the recovery of liquids from gas through a considerable temperature decrease.
Gas and condensate export pipelines had to cross almost the entire basin of the Taz River and its tributaries with a total of 99 water bodies. All river crossings were built by directional drilling to avoid man-induced impact on river ecosystems.
Logistics: Knowledge of Local Conditions and Competent Planning
To develop the field and build the integrated gas treatment plant, Terneftegaz had to face many challenges delivering materials, equipment and people to the site. There are no ready infrastructure or permanent roads in the Termokarstovoye field area; cargo can only be brought in by the so-called “winter roads” made of compacted snow and ice, by helicopters (230 km from the Tarko-Sale airport), or by barges by the Taz River (870 km from the Taz estuary to Krasnoselkup and further by the small river Khetyl-Ky flowing close to the field). The bulk of cargo was delivered by the river or winter roads. Helicopters are largely used to transport people and food.
Says Sergey Nikolaevich Budyugin, Deputy Chief Engineer, Logistics & Procurement: “In our case, one has to plan the bulk of procurement and transportation in such a way that materials and equipment are ready for pick up by the beginning of navigation which is dependent on many factors such as freeze-up/break-up dates, weather conditions and changes in water level in the river basins. The water depth of the Khetyl-Ky River may drop down to a few dozen centimeters by July, making the river impassable for vessels, and start growing again in August”.
The short river navigation “window” makes thorough planning of supplies and uninterrupted operation of the logistics chain particularly important.
Since the field is in full production (end of 2015), its output amounts to 2.3 bcm/yr of gas and 800 kt/yr of condensate.