MOSCOW Aug 22 Gazprom Neft, the oil
arm of the state gas export monopoly, started the first
production well at a new Arctic field, one of the greenfield
projects which will help sustain Russia's production as old
Siberian fields decline.
Novoportovskoye, north of Gazprom's main gas
producing fields, is due to start commercial production in 2014
and hit its peak of 250,000 barrels per day in 2020.
In addition to the new, 2,200 metre deviated well, Gazprom
Neft plans to drill three new production wells and re-activate a
production well this year, with plans to conduct hydraulic
fracturing of several wells during the winter.
Russian companies are increasing use of unconventional
technologies both to squeeze more oil out of the declining
fields of Western Siberia and to maximise output at new fields.
The output will help them sustain production, which has
leveled out at just over 10.3 million barrels per day this year.
(Writing by Melissa Akin; editing by Keiron Henderson)