Siberia's West Salym oil field starts flow

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec. 23 -- Salym Petroleum Development NV (SPD), Moscow, has begun oil production from wells in West Salym, the largest of the Salym group of oil fields in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug in western Siberia.

Other fields in the production-sharing agreement (PSA) area are Upper Salym and Vadelyp. Production has begun from Upper Salym, and Vadelyp production is to start in 2006.

SPD is a 50:50 joint venture of operator Shell Exploration & Production BV and OAO NK Evikhon�the Russian unit of Sibir Energy PLC, London.

Production began a year ahead of the PSA schedule and ensures that the partners will achieve production levels stipulated in the field development plan.

Road tankers will transport production from West Salym to Upper Salym until the central processing facility (CPF) in West Salym and a planned 90 km oil export pipeline are commissioned next year. The CPF is designed to handle production of 6 million tonnes/year of crude. The pipeline will transport the oil from the CPF to a tie-in with the Transneft main trunk pipeline system at Yuzhny Balyk booster station. Construction of field facilities is under way.

Drilling continues on West Salym well pad 20, and two additional rigs will begin work soon. SPD has budgeted $278 million for 2005 operations. It expects spending on Salym fields' development to reach $600 million by the end of 2006.

SPD expects production to rise steadily to 134,000 b/d in 2011 from 1,270 b/d in 2003. Peak production of 143,500 b/d is expected in 2013 (OGJ Online, Apr. 12, 2001).

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