Technical Solutions for the Safe Development of the Hydrocarbon Fields in the Shallow Zone of the Ob and Taz Bays in the Presence of the Permafrost


Development of the hydrocarbon resources of the Russian Federation continental shelf is the largest infrastructure project. 

Unique explored oil and gas reserves simultaneously represent a complex science-intensive technical task associated with the offshore geological exploration, well drilling, production, and transportation of the hydrocarbons. Article discusses technical solutions proposed by the authors for the safe development of the Kamennomysskoye-Sea and Semakovskoye gas fields located in the shallow waters of the Ob and Taz bays of the Kara Sea. According to the results of engineering-geological surveys and marine electrical exploration, it is established that the frozen soils are widespread on the banks of the bays and partly in the water area at a distance of up to 100 m from the coast.

Construction and operation of the gas wells and offshore pipelines in the Arctic zone are associated with complications caused by the formation of thawing halos in the near-wellbore space and the soils of gas pipelines foundation. As a result, near-mouth subsidence of soil, deformation of structures and piping of wells, collapse of the coastal slope in the area of gas pipeline landfall are possible. In order to avoid these negative phenomena and improve the operational reliability of engineering facilities, new technical solutions are proposed, the use of which will improve the industrial and environmental safety of expensive projects.

As such solutions based on the numerical thermal engineering modeling, the following is proposed. 

Creation of an ice-ground cantilever due to the joint operation of thermal stabilizers and heat-insulated lift pipes in order to reduce the thermal effect of gas production wells on the host soils. This will allow to reduce the distance between the wellheads, ensuring safety and reducing the cost of backfilling multi-well pads.

Local thermal stabilization of soils at the base of gas pipelines is possible with the use of thermal stabilizers installed with a certain step, the size of which is determined by the results of heat engineering, deformation, and strength calculations.

1. Bogoyavlensky V.I., Kishankov A.V., Kazanin A.G. Permafrost, gas hydrates and gas seeps in the central part of the Laptev Sea. Doklady Rossiyskoy akademii nauk. Nauki o Zemle = Doklady Earth Sciences. 2021. Vol. 500. № 1. pp. 70–76. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.31857/S2686739721090048
2. Bogoyavlensky V., Kishankov A., Kazanin A., Kazanin G. Distribution of permafrost and gas hydrates in relation to intensive gas emission in the central part of the Laptev Sea (Russian Arctic). Marine and Petroleum Geology. 2022. Vol. 138. pp. 1–15. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2022.105527
3. Dzyublo A.D., Alekseeva K.V., Perekrestov V.E., Xiang Hua. Natural and Technogenic Phenomena during Development of Oil and Gas Fields on the Shelf of the Arctic Seas. Bezopasnost Truda v Promyshlennosti = Occupational Safety in Industry. 2020. № 4. pp. 74–81. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.24000/0409-2961-2020-4-74-81
4. Dzyublo A.D., Voronova V.V. Investigation of the Mechanisms of Occurrence of Hazardous Natural Phenomena during the Development of Oil and Gas Fields on the Shelf of the Arctic and Subarctic Seas. Bezopasnost Truda v Promyshlennosti = Occupational Safety in Industry. 2019. № 4. pp. 69–77. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.24000/0409-2961-2019-4-69-77
5. Dzyublo A.D., Alekseeva K.V. Geocryological conditions of the shallow shelf of the Kara Sea. Neftegaz.RU. 2020. № 5. pp. 75–81. (In Russ.).
6. Rokos S.I., Dlugach A.G., Loktev A.S., Kostin D.A., Kulikov S.N. Permafrost rocks of the shelf of the Pechora and Kara Seas: genesis, composition, conditions of distribution and occurrence. Inzhenernye izyskaniya = Engineering survey. 2009. № 10. pp. 38–41. (In Russ.).
7. Rokos S.I., Kostin D.A., Kulikov S.N. Subsea permafrost in the Ob and Taz bays, the Kara Sea. Kriosfera Zemli = Earth’s Cryosphere. 2019. Vol. 23. № 5 (97). pp. 17–26. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.21782/KZ1560-7496-2019-5(17-26) 
8. Dzyublo A.D., Magomedgadzhieva M.A., Alekseeva K.V. Features of the gas resources development in the Ob and Taz bays in permafrost conditions. Stroitelstvo neftyanykh i gazovykh skvazhin na sushe i na more = Construction of Oil and Gas Wells on-Land and off-Shore. 2022. № 3 (351). pp. 56–62. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.33285/0130-3872-2022-3(351)-56-62
9. Magomedgadzhieva M.A. Features of designing the arrangement of multi-well pads in difficult geocryological conditions. Proektirovanie i razrabotka neftegazovykh mestorozhdeniy = Design and development of oil and gas fields. 2017. № 2. pp. 4–11. (In Russ.).
10. Matthews C.M., Zhang G. Importance of Deep Permafrost Soil Characterization for Accurate Assessment of Thaw Subsidence Impacts on the Design and Integrity of Arctic Wells. Paper presented at the OTC Arctic Technology Conference. Houston, 2012. DOI: 10.4043/23747-MS
11. Stratov D.V. Problems of development of the Kharasaveyskoye and Kruzenshternskoye deposits. Trudy 14-y Mezhdunar. konf. i vystavki po osvoeniyu resursov nefti i gaza Rossiyskoy Arktiki i kontinentalnogo shelfa stran SNG (RAO/CIS Offshore 2019) (Proceedings of the 14th International Confeence and Exhibitions on the Development of Oil and Gas Resources of the Russian Arctic and the Continental Shelf of the CIS Countries  (RAO/CIS Offshore 2019). Saint Petersburg, 2019. pp. 116–117. (In Russ.).
12. Eliseev A.A., Yakushev V.S. Successful experience of wellhead heat isolation at Yamal gas fields as prologue of new technologies for Kara Sea gas fields development. Nauchnyy zhurnal Rossiyskogo gazovogo obshchestva = Scientific Journal of the Russian Gas Society. 2021. № 3 (31). pp. 30–33. (In Russ.).
13. Belomestnov A., Marchenko K., Melnikov I. Experience with the Vacuum Insulated Tubing VIT Utilization at Gas Fields in the Northern Part of Western Siberia. Paper presented at the SPE Thermal Well Integrity and Design Symposium. Banff, 2018. DOI: 10.2118/193352-MS
14. Thusyanthan I., Loukas A. Numerical Modelling of Frozen Soil and Permafrost Subsidence Effects. Paper presented at the 31st International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference — ISOPE–2021. Rhodes, 2021.
15. Uhlemann S., Isabelle A., Wagner F., Dafflon B., Ulrich C., Hubbard S.S. Integrated geophysical imaging of permafrost distribution across an Arctic watershed. Paper presented at the SEG/AAPG/SEPM First International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy. Denver, 2021. DOI: SEG-2021-3583218
16. Magomedgadzhieva M.A., Oganov G.S., Mitrofanov I.B., Karpov A.M. Special features of beach installation design for oil-gas site facilities in the Gulf of Ob waters. Vesti Gazovoy Nauki: nauch.-tekhn. sb. (Gas Science Bulletin: scientific-technical collection book). 2018. № 4 (36). pp. 41–47. (In Russ.).
DOI: 10.24000/0409-2961-2022-8-26-32
Year: 2022
Issue num: August
Keywords : technical solutions permafrost Ob Bay safe development hydrocarbon deposits shallow water shelf Taz Bay geocryological conditions thermal stabilizers wellhead safety thermal stabilization of soils for gas pipelines
  • Oganov G.S.
    Oganov G.S.
    Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Prof., First Deputy General Director Krasnoyarskgazprom Neftegazproyekt LLC, Moscow, Russia
  • Magomedgadzhieva М.А.
    Magomedgadzhieva М.А.
    Cand. Sci. (Geol.-Mineral.), Department Head Krasnoyarskgazprom Neftegazproyekt LLC, Moscow, Russia
  • Dzyublo A.D.
    Dzyublo A.D.
    Dr. Sci. (Geol.-Mineral.), Prof. Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University), Moscow, Russia Lead Researcher Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of RAS, Moscow, Russia
  • Alekseeva K.V.
    Alekseeva K.V.
    Postgraduate, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University), Moscow, Russia