Achimgaz Pioneering Work in Siberia
The Achimgaz joint venture is a prime example of successful German-Russian cooperation that is facing up to the technological challenges.
Achimgaz is a German-Russian joint venture in Western Siberia in which Wintershall Dea and Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy each have a 50 per cent shareholding. In the vicinity of the city of Novy Urengoy in the Arctic Circle, 3,500 kilometres north-east of Moscow, the partners extract natural gas and gas condensate from the geologically challenging Achimov formations in Area 1A of the Urengoyskoye field under extreme climatic conditions.
Energy from the depths
The Achimov deposits lie at a depth of almost 4,000 metres, which is deeper than many of the already developed gas fields in the region. Achimgaz set up a large-scale facility for separating natural gas and condensate, which now has five processing lines. The wells are S-shaped in order to better develop the gas fields. Following the completion of the drilling campaign in 2019, the company reached the yearly plateau production of ten billion cubic metres of natural gas. In June 2020, Achimgaz celebrated the production of its 50th billion cubic metre of natural gas. In order to further boost its production capacity, the joint venture is currently implementing a modernisation programme.
Partnership in permafrost
Achimgaz is the only major project in the Russian energy sector where an international company is on board as an equal partner. All decisions at Achimgaz are taken unanimously by Wintershall Dea and Gazprom, i.e. in mutual agreement. The project is also characterised by the excellent cooperation of specialists from many different countries: at Achimgaz, Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Argentinians, Americans and colleagues with many other nationalities are all pulling together.
Achimgaz is renowned for its expertise in drilling under extreme climatic and geological conditions. The joint venture is a perfect example of successful German-Russian cooperation in the energy sector that is facing up to the technological challenges.
Mastering challenges: Geology and logistics
The development of Achimov formations is not only geologically demanding. The adverse conditions above the surface are also a challenge. In wintertime, which lasts from September to May in Novy Urengoy, temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees. All production and processing facilities withstand temperature fluctuations from minus 56 to plus 34 degrees Celsius. In addition, the remoteness of the region requires particularly careful planning of the construction work. Thanks to a robust shift system, production runs even under the most adverse climatic conditions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In the meantime, this efficiency has attracted nationwide attention: In its renowned ranking of the 500 largest companies in Russia, the Russian media holding company RBK listed Achimgaz as Russia’s second most profitable company in 2018.