The Urengoyskoye (Urengoy) field located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, Western Siberia, is one of the oldest and biggest gas condensate fields in Russia. The onshore oil and gas condensate field is licensed to Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned gas behemoth Gazprom.

Urengoyskoye was considered the world’s biggest gas field, with estimated initial reserves of 10.9 trillion cubic metres (tcm) of gas, at the time of its discovery in June 1966. The field commenced gas production in April 1978, while commercial oil production started in 1987.

The field has witnessed declines in output from the Cenomanian and Valanginian deposits in recent years. The current field development is focussed on the deeper Achimovsky (Achimov) gas condensate deposits.

Gazprom has divided the Achimov deposits into five blocks and is developing them in a phased manner through different joint venture partnerships.

The first block (block 1A) of the Achimov deposits commenced pilot production in 2008, followed by the start of commercial production in 2011. Block 2A commenced pilot production in 2009, while the remaining blocks are in advanced stages of development with hot commissioning for blocks 4A and 5A performed in January 2021 and April 2021, respectively.

Achimov gas condensate reserves and production

The Achimov deposits of the Urengoyskoye field are estimated to hold more than 1tcm of gas and 400 million tonnes (Mt) of condensate in recoverable reserves.

At full capacity, the five Achimov production blocks are expected to produce up to 36.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.

Urengoyskoye field location and reservoir details

The Urengoyskoye onshore oil and gas condensate field is located in the Nadym-Pur-Tazovsky region of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, Western Siberia, Russia. It is situated near Novy Urengoy, approximately 3,500km north-east of Moscow.

The Urengoyskoye field comprises the Cenomanian, Valanginian and Achimov deposits. The Cenomanian and Valanginian deposits are at a depth of 1,100m-1,700m and 1,700m-3,200m, respectively, whereas the Achimov deposits lie at a depth of 4,000m beneath the ground.

Strata located in the central zone of the West Siberian Basin, the Achimov deposits are characterised by a complex geological structure featuring high formation pressure and the presence of tectonic and lithological screens, and heavy paraffins.

Urengoyskoye production facilities

The Urengoyskoye oil and gas condensate field comprises more than 2,800 wells, two oil fields, 22 gas treatment units, 20 booster compressor stations, five gas cooling stations, two compressor stations to handle associated petroleum gas, and a condensate pumping station.

Gazprom also commissioned two additional booster compressor stations to maintain peak production volumes from the Urengoyskoye field in September 2021, as part of its preparation to meet the higher gas demand in Europe during the upcoming winter.

SRTO-Torzhok gas pipeline details

The Northern Tyumen Region (SRTO)-Torzhok gas pipeline, which originates from the Urengoyskoye field and runs for 2,200km to connect with Russia’s Unified Gas Supply System at Torzhok, was brought on stream in 2006.

The pipeline reached its design capacity of 28.5bcm with a total of 13 compressor stations (968MW in combined capacity) along the route in 2012.

Achimov blocks 1A and 2A development details

Achimgaz, a joint venture between Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy (50%) and Wintershall Holding (50%), was formed in July 2003 to develop the Achimov block 1A, which is located south-east of the main Urengoy field.

Achimgaz is the owner and operator, while Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy holds the license of the block.

The cumulative gas production from block 1A reached 50bcm in June 2020. Achimgaz completed the drilling of 108 production wells spread across 27 well clusters in the block in October 2019. It increased the total production capacity of the block to 10bcm of natural gas a year.

Gazprom started independent gas production from Block 2A of the Achimov deposits on a pilot basis in 2009. The block is expected to produce 8.7bcm of gas a year at full commercial capacity.

Achimov block 3A details

Gapzpromneft-Zapolyarye, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, started developing block 3A of the Achimovs deposits in the Urengoyskoye field in 2020. Gapzpromneft-Zapolyarye is the operator, while Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy is the license holder of the block.

The operator has completed drilling two wells as part of the pilot development, while as many as 32 horizontal wells are planned to be drilled in block 3A, which is expected to achieve a peak annual gas production capacity of 5bcm in 2024.

Achimov blocks 4A and 5A development details

Achim Development, a joint venture of Gazprom (74.99%) and Wintershall Dea (25.01%), is responsible to develop and operate blocks 4A and 5A of the Achimov deposits that are located to the north of Block 1A.

Achimgaz was made the general contractor to build production infrastructure in blocks 4A and 5A in April 2018. It started pre-commissioning activities for the two production blocks in the first half of 2021.

The combined production from the two blocks is expected to be 14bcm of dry gas a year.