Pooling the expertise of gas groups working in extreme cold




Russia. Total and Novatek, Russia’s second largest gas producer, put their most sophisticated expertise to the test on the Termokarstovoye project. They face the challenge of developing all the gas resources of an isolated tundra region in the Yamal-Nenets district, which for two-thirds of the year is inaccessible. 

Development of the very deep multilayer gas condensate reservoirs began at the end of 2011. In these extremely cold conditions, Total's seismic interpretation teams must call on all their expertise to ensure that the directional drilling of the 22 wells located on four different pads is a success. A 180-km-long pipeline built over the permafrost carries the gas from Terneftegas’ treatment plant (the company that holds the license to Novatek’s gas pipeline. Production has begun in may 2015 with capacity of 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, broken down into 6 million m³ of gas and 25,000 boe/d of liquid (LPG and condensates).

The partnership formed by Total and Novatek to extract hydrocarbons from the Arctic is a complementary one, carried by the former’s acknowledged expertise in geosciences and processes and the latter’s logistical expertise and operational experience in Western Siberia.

Key figures

  • Capacity: 65 000 beo/d
  • Operator: Terneftegas (Novatek 51% and Total 49%)



Two partners dealing with extreme cold

The Termokarstovoye project is the result of a partnership between Total, the world's fifth largest oil company, and Novatek, Russia's leading independent gas producer. What brought the companies together? Take a look at this film to find out what each company brings to the project: Novatek has experience of gas projects on a similar scale in extreme cold environments, and proven familiarity with local issues (local contracts, logistical expertise, experience working in the extreme cold); Total has a culture of innovation which sets out to optimize processes and maximize production (geosciences, drilling, etc.).


Termokarstovoye, two partners team up against intense cold INTENSE COLD


Strategic routes through the ice

Termokarstovoye is accessible by land 140 days a year, in the winter. This is when all the vital equipment needed to develop the field is transported over snow roads specially built and maintained for this purpose.

Facing drilling challenges

Drilling 22 well bores through the permafrost to reach the thin multilayer reservoir… and successfully draining as much condensate as possible along with the gas to improve the field's profitability... requires expertise and technology. It’s with this objective in mind that Total and Novatek joined forces.


Termokarstovoye, Epitomising the challenges of drilling

Interview with Dmitry Isakov, Head of Geosciences Total E&P Russia and Airat Arslanbekov Head of Drilling, Novatek


Winter—Pipeline season

The Termokarstovoye field produces 6 million cubic meters of gas and 25,000 barrels of liquid (condensates and LPG) every day. To transport these resources, Total and Novatek built two new pipelines which are connected to the region's current facilities.


Termokarstovoye: Winter, the season for pipelines

Interview with Konstantin Bakhtin, Termokarstovoye’s technical director Total E&P Russia