Till now, TNK-BP has already invested around $100 million into development of the Russkoe field and is operating 10 wells in it, including four producing wells. Preparation of a project for full-scale development of the Russkoe field and corroboration of its newly prospected reserves will start after drilling and exploration of several new wells in the field. Sergey Biryukov, head of the Russkoe project, pointed out that seismic surveys revealed promising oil production areas near the license boundaries of the Russkoe field.

In 2010, TNK-BP will test a thermal method of oil recovery enhancement based on injection of hot water and steam into the formation. Next year, the company is going to launch a new experimental setup for reducing oil viscosity immediately at the wellhead. If this setup proves to be efficient, this know-how will be applied throughput the field.

At the current stage of Russkoe field development, according to Biryukov, the essential goal is to find new technologies for recovery of hard-to-get oil from the field.

In 2010, the company plans to construct a gas-fired power plant in the Russkoe field and an automobile road from the field to the federal highway than will be built in 2011. Biryukov explained that hydrocarbons are being produced now only in wintertime, because oil export from the field is currently confined to vehicular transportation on ice roads. Construction of the automobile road will allow year-round production and export of oil. Still, added he, oil production in the Russkoe field will be quite small and amount to approximately 20,000 tons in 2009 and 42,000–46,000 tons in 2010.

Biryukov stressed that full-scale development of the field is hindered by the lack of oil transportation infrastructure in the region. For this reason, TNK-BP lays high hopes on the program of comprehensive development of fields on the Yamal Peninsula, which is expected to be approved and adopted in first quarter of 2010.

Apart from that, Biryukov informed that the government is now discussing plans for transferring the Vankor-Purpe pipeline currently owned by Rosneft to Transneft and further increasing the throughput capacity of this pipeline. In this case, said Biryukov, TNK-BP may build two pipelines – a Suzunsk–Vankor pipeline and a pipeline from the Russkoe field to the trunk pipeline to connect its fields in north Krasnoyarsk Krai and the Russkoe project in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District to the trunk pipeline. “A decision on this issue (connection of the Suzunskoe field, one of TNK-BP’s fields in north of Krasnoyarsk Krai, to the Vankor-Purpe pipeline – ANI) is expected to be made very soon,” said Biryukov.

According to the head of the Russkoe project, if the problem of oil transportation from the Russkoe field is solved, active development of the field will start in 2011, the field will be put into full operation in 2014, and oil production will reach its peak and amount to 7.5–10 million tons of oil a year in 2012–2020.

The in-place reserves of the Russkoe field are estimated at 1.5 billion tons of oil, and its recoverable reserves amount to 410 million tons. Hydrocarbons occur 800–900 m deep. The Russkoe field is one of the largest fields in Russia. Oil from this field is characterized by high viscosity and can be used for production of high-quality jet fuel, diesel fuel, arctic low-cold-test low-sulfur lubricants, construction bitumen, road-building bitumen, and electrode coke. Development of the Russkoe field is complicated by a number of factors, especially its location in the polar region, complex geological structure, and lack of oil transportation infrastructure.