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Seg and Kontiki Exploration discover oil and bitumen field in Uzbekistan

Published by , Deputy Editor
Oilfield Technology,

Sanoat Energetika Guruhi LLC (formerly known as Jizzakh Petroleum JV, LLC) and Kontiki Exploration have announced their discovery of a field of super-viscous oil and bitumen in the Zarafshan depression, in an area between the cities of Samarkand and Navoi. The field will require some of the most advanced oilfield technology in use in Central Asia.

The reserves of Yangi Uzbekistan field of bituminous oil are estimated at about 100 million tons. The maximum level of bituminous oil production is projected at 1 million tpy by 2025. To ensure this level of production, there will be 1500 wells drilled per year. Investments required for the field’s development are estimated at 2.5 billion US dollars over the next 12 years.

Shokir Faizullaev, SEG’s Chief Executive, said:

“Discovery of the Yangi Uzbekistan field is a part of Sanoat Energetika Guruhi’s strategy to increase oil production to 1.6 million t by 2030. To implement projects of this scale, we will engage the best contractors who can work with bituminous oil. We have been able to increase production from 425 to 500 thousand tons per year thus far. The development of the Yangi Uzbekistan field will secure a significant increase in this figure. In this way Uzbekistan will be able to reduce imported crude oil and produce processed products from its own raw materials in the near future.”

Sergey Astakhov, director of Kontiki Exploration Company LLC, said:

“We have discovered not only the largest field at shallow depths, but also a new oil-bearing area, where, at a greater depth, we can find even more liquid oil. Besides, there are potentially interesting intermountain and foothill depressions in Uzbekistan, where it is necessary to search and discover hydrocarbons.”

The implementation of the project started in May 2021 with the drilling of a first exploration well. The drilling was carried out on the border between the Samarkand and Navoi regions. Drilling depths ranged from 400 to 750 m. During the drilling, layers of gravel and sandstone of the Albian, Cenomanian and Turonian layers were uncovered, all of which were saturated with viscous oil and bitumen.

Due to the high viscosity, the field will become one of the most high-tech in the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as in the Central Asian region. To produce hydrocarbons SEG has already engaged a number of international oilfield services companies:

  • McDANIEL (Canada) – geological survey, technology selection, strategy development and feasibility study.
  • BYIS Manufacturing (USA) – steam cycling wells’ treatment technology, industrial steam generation.
  • O'NEILL Industries (USA) – steam cycling wells’ treatment technology that involves generation and injection of steam together with carbon dioxide, nitrogen and surfactants.
  • GenOil (Canada) – technology development for processing bituminous oil into ‘synthetic’ oil, technology licensor.
  • Energy and Engineering (Russia) – basic design of bituminous oil processing technology into ‘synthetic’ oil.
  • Veraton I.T.C. (Russia) – hydrogen thermobarochemical impact technology.
  • Kazan Federal University (Russia) – petrophysical studies of cores, development of combustion technology in situ.

Currently, prospecting and exploration work is underway to determine productive thicknesses and delineate bitumen and oil deposits, as well as pilot work to determine the extraction method.

Read the latest issue of Oilfield Technology in full for free: Summer 2022

Oilfield Technology’s second issue of 2022 begins with analysis from Rystad Energy focusing on the upstream industry in Southeast Asia. The rest of the issue is dedicated to features covering advances in drilling, rig design, software and AI, corrosion and maintenance, artificial lift, flow control, and more.

Exclusive contributions come from Vink Chemicals, Archer, Taurex Drill Bits, Vysus, EM&I, SparkCognition, TÜV Rheinland Group, TGT Diagnostics, ChampionX, and Baker Hughes, as well as a guest comment from Patrick Long, Opportune.

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