Black gold in earth’s depths

New hydrocarbon deposit recently discovered by geologists in Oktyabrsky District of Gomel Region

By Olga Polezhaeva

A new hydrocarbon deposit has been discovered during testing of Yuzhno-Vishanskaya #34 exploratory well, at a depth of 3,252-3,272 metres (in the lower horizontal subsalt layers). Daily oil influx is estimated at 5 cubic metres, with geologists continuing to drill the well. “At the moment, we are studying its second interval, which is laid lower; its mastering is planned for the near future,” explains the Deputy General Director and chief oil and gas geologist at Belgeologiya, Yaroslav Gribik.

Simultaneously, two other mines are being studied: Shatilkovskaya #15 (Svetlogorsk District) and Novokazanskaya #47 (Kalinkovichi District, Gomel Region) — where oil has been earlier observed. “We’re close to completing our study of Shatilkovskaya #15, conducting this job jointly with Belorusneft,” Mr. Gribik tells us. “Mines at Novokazanskaya #47 are soon to be mastered.”

This year, Belgeologiya is to increase its commercial oil extraction to 400,000 tonnes; geologists are already exploring new territories to help achieve this target. “We have some problems regarding the sustainability of oil influxes, as the discovered deposits are small. With this in mind, in H2 2011, we plan to speed up our drilling of new wells. Among them is Prokhorovskaya #13, which is located at Prokhorovskoye oil deposit,” Mr. Gribik notes. Geologists are also expanding their research in the west of the country. This September, they plan to drill Novoberezinskaya well in the Zhlobin District. Another similar project is to be implemented in the Svetlogorsk District, focusing on the development of Morozovskaya site.

New geophysical methods of research are to be applied in looking for oil, including exploring at increased depths. A well has already been drilled in the Mogilev Region’s Glusk District — with a planned depth of 5,100 metres. “At present, its depth is just 1,700 metres but, by the beginning of the fourth quarter, we’ll unearth the subsalt carbonate layers, at a depth of 3,900-4,300 metres, assessing their suitability,” the specialist notes. “Its drilling will continue in 2012 but further work will require stronger drilling equipment.”

The search for mineral deposits is envisaged by the State Programme for Geological Prospecting, developing Belarus’ mineral resource base. This runs until 2020 and aims to raise the country’s fuel and energy capacity, while finding and developing new deposits of construction materials and other non-metallic sources. Regional geological exploration of possible Belarusian deposits is planned.

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