Old but gold: Effective oil extraction onshore Azerbaijan with primitive method
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 21
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Balakhany-Sabunchu-Ramana field is located at the heart of Absheron peninsula, 12 kilometers from Baku on the territory of Balakhany, Sabunchu and Ramana villages.
Almost all layers of the productive stratum have oil and gas. The field has tar oil with low content of sulfur and paraffin.
Primitive methods have been used for oil extraction from the field since ancient times. The field’s industrial development began in 1871 with annual production peak of 8,831,000 tons recorded in 1901.
New methods are also widely used in various parts of the field in order to increase oil recovery factor of the layers.
The field is currently in the last fourth stage of development, when the natural energy of fields is depleted and gravity forces prevail in such fields.
Gravity depletion is when oil in the field moves to the bottom of the well with the force of gravity. Gravity depletion occurs as a result of natural and technological changes. The development intensity of fields with gravity depletion is low.
Gravivity depletion is more apparent in Balkany field, where well productivity has declined after hundreds of years of development. A large amount of sand flows into the bottom of the well together with the liquid, as the flow of heavy oil to the bottom of the well decreases and the layers are not subjected to natural cementation. It becomes impossible to operate these wells with submersible pumps, because if oil is pumped out of such wells, other impurities at the bottom of the well are absorbed along with the oil. It can adversely affect the pump’s work. For this reason, the mining method is considered more efficient.
As of May 1, 2020, currently, 22 wells at the field are developed using mining method. The depth of these wells varies between 50 and 170 meters. This method is very effective. Although it is a primitive method, as only about 200-250 liter valves are lowered into the well and the liquid (along with water and other mixtures at the bottom of the well) is lifted up. The history of these wells goes back to the period before the start of development (1870s). The diameter of these wells is larger than the diameter of wells drilled with modern methods.
The field is developed by Balkhanyoil Operating Company. The company has 1,482 production wells, including 1,069 active wells. The wells produce a total of 680 tons of oil per day.
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