Commercial production from Area 4A of the Urengoyskoye field is planned after completing an ongoing hot commissioning process


Gazprom and Wintershall Dea have been developing the Area 4A and 5A blocks under the Achim Development joint venture. (Credit Wintershall Dea/Georgy Pavlovsky)

Gazprom and Wintershall Dea have achieved production of the first gas and condensate from Area 4A in the Achimov formations of the onshore Urengoyskoye field in Western Siberia, Russia.

The companies’ joint venture Achim Development has also started hot commissioning of Area 4A.

According to Wintershall Dea, the hot commissioning process involves filling up of the production complex with raw gas to test it under operating conditions.

After the hot commissioning is successfully completed, Achim Development will move ahead with commercial production of hydrocarbons, said the German oil and gas producer.

The joint venture is also planning to start the commissioning process for Area 5A in the first quarter of this year. Area 5A is also part of the Achimov formations.

Area 4A/5A is located north of Area 1A of the Urengoyskoye field. Since 2008, Achimgaz, a 50:50 joint venture between Wintershall Dea and Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy, has been producing gas and gas condensate from the Area 1A block.

Wintershall Dea board chairman and CEO Mario Mehren said: “Our gas projects in Russia are the cornerstone of our company’s business in terms of both reserves and production. A gas-focused portfolio is our strategy for the future, and the partnership with Gazprom remains a strategic priority.

“So the successful start-up of the Achim Development project makes a significant contribution to our strategic goals, and is an impressive highlight in the long and fruitful history of our partnership.”

Drilling campaign for Area 4A/5A includes over 140 wells

The Achimov formations lie at a depth of nearly 4,000m. They are characterised by very high formation pressures, which makes the development of Area 4A/5A a technological challenge, said Wintershall Dea.

Gazprom and Wintershall Dea plan to drill more than 140 wells at Area 4A/5A.

The Russian state-owned energy company currently has a 74.99% stake in Achim Development, while Wintershall Dea holds the remaining 25.01% stake.

Austrian oil and gas producer OMV is set to join the duo having signed a €905m deal in June 2019 to acquire a 24.98% stake in the Achimov 4A/5A project from Gazprom.

In March 2020, OMV and Gazprom introduced amendments to the asset sale deal while agreeing to extend the negotiations for the final agreement on the transaction until June 2022.