Domanik Oil, a joint venture of Statoil and Rosneft, has began pilot drilling to study hydrocarbon reserves of Domanik sediments in Samara region in Russia.

Domanik Oil plans to drill at least three horizontal exploration wells during the pilot phase, which is planned between 2016- 2019.

Besides, it will conduct advanced studies at the license areas of Samaraneftegaz, Rosneft subsidiary. The company intends to use efficient technologies such as multistage hydraulic fracturing.

The pilot drilling project, which is part of the development of Domanik sediments, is expected to open up new areas of cooperation between Rosneft and Statoil.

The two companies claim that they are progressing to implement previously reached cooperation agreements and are combining their experience and competencies for the development of promising hydrocarbon reserves in Russia.

Rosneft’s statement read: “Domanik sediments in Volga-Ural oil and gas province have large hydrocarbon potential.

“These are low-permeable cherty limestone sediments; according to the characteristics of their filtration-reservoir properties they are classified as hard-to-recover hydrocarbons.”

In 2013, the two companies entered into an agreement on the basic principles of the joint pilot development of Domanik deposits in 12 license areas of Rosneft in the Samara region.

Until now, the two companies have conducted several geological and geophysical studies of Dominak deposits in the license areas of Samaraneftegaz.

Recently, Rosneft and BP have dissolved their joint venture Ruhr Oel in Germany. The restructuring has resulted in Rosneft becoming the direct holder and increasing its stake in the Bayernoil refinery from 12.5% to 25%, the MiRO refinery from 12% to 24% and PCK refinery from 35.42% to 54.17%.

With this restructure, Rosneft says that it can strengthen its position in a promising oil products market in Europe.