Exxon Neftegas Limited is a recognized leader in the use of advanced technologies for developing offshore fields efficiently and safely in challenging conditions such as these.


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Breakthrough technologies

The northeast Sakhalin offshore area lies at a considerable distance from the main production and logistic hubs and is in a seismically active region with a harsh climate.  In winter, temperatures fall below -40°C, wind speeds can reach 140 km/hr., and the sea freezes solid with two meters of ice.  Exxon Neftegas Limited is a recognized leader in the use of advanced technologies for developing offshore fields efficiently and safely in challenging conditions such as these.  Here are just a few examples.

Exxon Neftegas Limited performs drilling in various geological environments and under conditions that range widely from subarctic to deep water.  Developing oil and gas resources is a costly and complex process, and the company therefore uses the most advanced technologies that simplify operations, increase the average daily drilling rate, cut capital expenditure, and reduce environmental risks. Our extended reach drilling (ERD) techniques, fast drill process, and multilateral well drilling methods help us achieve precisely that.

Sakhalin-1 has been internationally recognized in the Oil and Gas Industry because of its leadership in drilling technologies. We have drilled 9 of the 10 longest wells extended reach drilling wells. Sakhalin-1 Drilling Team continues to push the envelope and redefine the limits of extended reach drilling technologies. Drilling these extremely complex wells with state of the art subsurface equipment enables us to unlock resources, which were unreachable in the recent past.

All four Sakhalin-1 drilling rigs are amongst the most powerful in the industry. We continue Orlan’s, Berkut’s, and Krechet’s extensive drilling programs and have opportunities for Yastreb in the future.

Sakhalin-1 leadership in drilling goes beyond the record of our wells. On the Orlan platform, we successfully added production volumes through slot recovery, slot re-use and multi-lateral completions using two vendor systems, including flow control valves for each lateral.

We utilize intelligent completions to better control how the reservoirs are produced. Intelligent completions allow us to control which reservoir is online within a single well. This helps us to learn about the reservoirs over time to maximize production and value for the resource owner and the Sakhalin-1 consortium.

Exxon Neftegas Limited’s drilling and subsurface engineering teams partnered with leading service companies to create new tool categories and expand limitations of existing designs to maximize output from our new and existing wells. While production operations at all Sakhalin-1 facilities are maturing, we successfully apply technologies to maximize production. These technologies include intelligent well solutions to monitor downhole flow rate, water cut, pressure and temperature.

World records in the industry

Sakhalin-1 has drilled 9 of the world's 10 longest wells. Here is the timeline of records for drilling the world's longest wells:

  • April 2007. Well Z-11 – 11,282 m
  • January 2008. Well Z-12 – 11,680 m
  • January 2011. Well OP-11 – 12,345 m
  • July 2012. Well Z-44 – 12,376 m
  • April 2013. Well Z-43 – 12,450 m
  • June 2013. Well Z-42 – 12,700 m
  • March 2014. Well Z-40 – 13,000 m
  • April 2015. Well О-14 – 13,500 m
  • October 2017: O-5RD – 15,000 m (current world-record)

Extended reach drilling (ERD)

Enables wells to be drilled under the seafloor from a land-based wellsite towards oil and gas zones, thus greatly reducing environmental impacts and eliminating the need for large offshore structures such as platforms and pipelines.  ERD also allows reduction of capital expenditures and operating costs.

Multilateral well scheme

Multilateral drilling

Confined space on offshore platforms limits the number of drill slots where the wells are initiated. The solution is to use the multilateral drilling technology for drilling sidetracks from the main wellbore to penetrate additional oil and gas bearing formations.  Downhole smart equipment is used to manage wellstreams.  There can be several sidetrack wells, making a well in cross section to resemble a tree root system.  This ultimately increases oil recovery without increasing the number of surface drill slots.

Fast drill animation

Fastdrill™ process

The fast drill process was developed by ExxonMobil Upstream Development as a way of identifying and eliminating the rate-of-penetration limiters.  The process has now been introduced in all drilling departments of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Year-end transportation 

Unique year-round oil transportation system

The Sakhalin 1 Project is the project in Russia to successfully conduct year-round oil transportation without stopping for the winter season, when the sea is covered in ice.

The first oil was shipped from the De-Kastri Terminal in 2006. A total of five Aframax class tankers that can hold up to 100,000 tons of crude were built and chartered for the Sakhalin-1 Project. These tankers differ from others byway of loading crude through a special enclosed deck structure on the bow of the vessel instead of by filling ports in the bottom of the vessel. Tanker valves and hoses are connected there for loading. Icebreakers are used to ensure the safety and stability of tanker navigation under winter ice conditions. The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute provides data for ice forecasting and course plotting in winter. 

Oil is loaded onto the tankers using the world's largest single-point mooring system, located approximately 6 km offshore. It weighs 3,200 tonnes, rises to a height of 60 meters above sea level, and stands in water 22 meters deep.  Ice-reinforced support vessels support tanker maneuvering and mooring operations.

In 2018, The Sakhalin-1 Project celebrated 100 million tons of oil shipped since operations at the De-Kastri Terminal began.

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