Cheap oil price forces Tatneft to suspend production of super-viscous oil

Drillers were asked to stop the works after extraction of the first million

As the Realnoye Vremya has got to know from its own sources, at the beginning of March, drilling at several sites of the Ashalchinskoye super-viscous oil field in the south-east of the republic was stopped by all eight oilfield service companies, operating under contract terms with structures of Tatneft. Among them are divisions of Tatarstani company Tagras-Holding, Russian SP VIS-MOS, which is one of the largest drilling companies, working with trenchless technologies. According to a representative of one of the contractors, the cessation of the works occurred under the oral order of Tatneft.

- We were announced that the development and production of super-viscous oil is beneficial to Tatneft only if the cost of oil is $46 per barrel (oil price is already below $40), so the further drilling of the deposit at low prices is not feasible, - he said, added that the long-term contracts, concluded earlier, "were not terminated". This information was confirmed by managements of one of the Kazan companies, which is a specialized supplier of drilling rigs with an inclined mast. "Yes, the works were stopped by all contractors – as by those that built two wells, as by those that built 22 wells. Fortunately, all of our supply of equipment were paid for,"- said its general director. A representative of Nurlatneft, which produces at this field, confirmed the Realnoye Vremya that the drillers really stopped working. But only at distant parts of the field, which were supposed to be developed in the future.

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