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Igor Shpurov: Accurate reserves estimations will enhance the investment in the subsoil

June 16/ 07:24

Moscow. This year the State Reserves Committee celebrated its 90th anniversary. That is why the Reserves Ministry, Rosnedra and the UN European Economic Committee supported the international conference “Issues on reserves estimation in Russia compared to the international standards”.

At the conference specialists discussed the key industry issues and ideas on how to solve them in order to have a work progress. Igor Shurov, the general director of the State Reserves Committee commented on the results of the conference in his interview to the Oil and Gas Information Agency.

- Igor Viktorovich, how do you think the investment in the subsoil can become more appealing?

- Due to accurate estimates of the reserves and their precise economic evaluation, also the classification of hydrocarbon reserves, which is already implemented and the classification of solid mineral reserves, which is going to be introduced soon. I suppose, when these issues are solved, especially the one about solid mineral reserves, Russian subsoil will become more attractive for investment and independent audit companies will start appearing on the market, providing reserves estimates for banks and the stock exchange.

- What ways to improve the oil and gas exploration efficiency were identified at the conference?

- The ways to improve efficiency are always the same.  They involve regional and areal surveys which enable to define the existing geological features and prepare for further exploration. This was talked a lot about. I believe that what’s important is not to spread the scarce budget over the whole country, but focus on the most perspective blocks, defined by the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use. In my mind, if we stick to this strategy, the exploration efficiency will be much higher. 

- How is work on creating and developing an expert society for subsoil use and reserves estimation going on?

- The society has been created, there are around 500 members. The training program has been developed and the experts have been qualified, the first training sessions and certificates have been delivered. Now the results have to be reviewed, flaws need to be found and corrected, then the full-scale program can be launched. Besides, in May the Eurasian Expert Union on Subsoil Use admitted geologists as a voting member. This is a big achievement and as a result, competent specialists on solid minerals and hydrocarbon reserves should appear here.

- Which innovative technologies for reserves estimation and sustainable mining are used today or are going to be used in the future? What did the exhibition held during the conference show?

- The exhibition was very informative and raised a lot of interest among the audience, especially the part concerning 3D simulation and real-time viewing. It goes without saying that visualizing plays an important part in understanding the results of simulation.

In my opinion, the work done by our Skolkovo colleagues was of particular interest, that is the digital full field model for the core presenting different lithology types of the Bazhenov formation. It is very important that the model showed how different the various lithology types are. This is an important step forward in terms of understanding shale formations.

And of cause the expert’s work station presented by the Tyumen Oil and Gas Institute and Vygon-Consulting and  Sibgeoproject companies. They demonstrated modern technologies related to reserves estimation and oil field development projects. I think the future lies with such technologies. Not only because they would enable experts to take balanced decisions, but also because they would provide for a different kind of relationship between the expert and the designer, the expert and the specialist in reserves estimation. This would enable to find the best ways of developing the oilfield interactively, thus enhancing the accuracy in reserves estimation and improving the efficiency of field development. This way we’ll be able to reach a new level of project designing: the expert will become a part of the project team.

- Which of the questions discussed at the conference raised a special interest in the audience?

- Not a single report was uninteresting, so it is quite difficult to pick just one. The reports were on different aspects concerning geological study and field development. What was important for us is that an interesting and comprehensive dialogue between Russian and foreign specialists took place for the first time after a long break. It was the first time we talked about the existing problems, about reserves classification, the technologies of their estimation and the possibility of introducing our experts to the global community. I believe this was the main achievement of the conference.


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