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Alexander Khurshudov about geologists conference in MSU: The society has grown the need for real working discussions

June 08, 2017/ 07:50

Moscow. International conference “New ideas in oil and gas geology” took place in Moscow State University on 25-26 May. Our reporter talked to Oil&Gas Information Agency expert Alexander Khurshudov, who took part in the event.

- Alexander Grigorievich, first of all share you general impression of the forum.

- I have to admit it’s been a while since I took part in such events; I grew used to the idea that they are often full of advertising and lobbying… The more I was glad to change my opinion. You can see for yourself. 107 reports were presented at the conference by specialists from Russia, China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Belorussia. The plenary meeting was opened by the reports by A. Kontarovich, and A. Dmitrievsky, RAS academics. Such companies as Rosgeologia, subsidiaries of Rosneft, Gazprom, Lukoil, Tatneft, Schlumberger presented their works. On the second day five round tables were held, which most importantly, enabled us to discuss the presented reports.  

- Did you take part in the discussion as well?

- I certainly did. I had a report on hard-to-recover reserves devoted to the analysis of oil production form the largest formations, the Bakken and Bazhenov. Besides, I helped the MSU representative G. Kalmykov, Dr. of geology and mineralogy, to run the round table.   

- Did the forum really suggest new ideas in the good old geology?

- Believe it or not, it did. They were voiced in different reports, spoken of in the course of discussions… Now I’ll try to put them in words.

Firstly, we are witnessing a change in the objective of geology. Previously it was about finding oil. On receiving the initial flow geologists hurried to test the well, but their minds drifted to the next location. Now we know that there is oil all over West Siberia. We don’t need to look for it. The objective of geology now is to get the maximum information about the oil and the formations. The information has to be accurate, reliable and sufficient for making important decisions.  

Secondly, hasty actions combined with lack of reliable information slow the development of science. Excessive interest in shale formations heated from abroad, luckily has not caused any serious financial losses, but it distracted the attention of geologists from more perspective tasks. Reporters from oil provinces stated one by one: the wells producing from the Bazhenov formation deplete quickly, the Domanikov formations in Volga region don’t produce sufficient flow. The reserves in place are huge indeed, but they can only be produced somewhere in the distant future. 

Thirdly, the academic science has shown itself in the best light. It has been focusing on low-permeable formation, completing the gaps in knowledge. The results presented in 24 reports by MSU specialists improve our understanding of rock properties, the natural process of hydrocarbon synthesis, the methods of testing complex wells. As a result, the organic theory of oil origin received additional evidences, which may and need to be used in the exploration for commercial deposits. 

- In which regions may new discoveries be expected?

- First of all, this is the East Siberia: the North of Krasnoyarsk region, Taimyr peninsular and its offshore. In the West offshore Sakhalin several new oilfields have been discovered, exploration in the Sea of Okhotsk is perspective. The Barents and the Pechora Seas shelf is proved to be oil-bearing, though a lot of exploration there is still to be done. The North of Yakutia and the territory to the East up to Chukotka are in reserve.

- Does this mean that everything has already been discovered in the West Siberia? 

- This is not completely true. Obviously, no large oilfields can be found here, because such traps are well known and being currently developed. But one can look in the slopes of uplifts, in the fault zones. This is a new idea, which requires expertize in geology. Inspiring results were achieved by Petrogeko company in the Koltogorskoe oilfield in KhMAD.

- So, you can say the conference worked well. What were the reasons of this?

In my mind, the first reason was that the society has grown the need for real working discussions. Scientists and engineers are sick and tired with the annoying mass media, which often hold back a lot, and even distort facts. The infoglut dulls the mind, but during the forum it woke up of its lethargy. I was happy to see that all the figures in the reports had been verified, the experiments had been carried out correctly and accurately. It was a pleasure to see high-quality works of real science.     

And the second reason is that geologists are special people. They are considered to be romantic for a reason: they are open to new discoveries, whether in the field, or in the laboratory or at the computers. No hardship can stop them. The life and soul of the event and its chief promoter was professor Antonina Stupakova, the head of fossil fuel geology and geochemistry department at MSU. I’d like to express my profound gratitude to her and her colleagues for the great job they did.


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