Russia's Gazprom Neft has commissioned a dedicated oil pipeline from the Chayanda gas and condensate field to an entry point directly linked with the key East Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) export trunkline, allowing the company to proceed into a new development phase to commercialise Chayanda's oil reserves.

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The completed pipeline will enable the state-controlled oil producer to export all oil that it produces at Chayanda from thin oil layers, located below the main gas reservoirs, directly to China and via tankers to Asia Pacific markets.

Gazprom Neft currently operates 17 producing wells at the deposit where production production in November 2019.

However, the drilling of an additional planned 37 wells, based on fishbone technology to maximise recovery, has been on hold as the operator had to use tank trucks to transport output to the required entry point.

The entry point — owned by parent, gas monopoly Gazprom — hosts major processing facilities that split condensate and gas from the arriving mixture of hydrocarbons, produced at Gazprom-operated gas wells at the field.

The quality of oil Gazprom Neft produces at the field is improved by co-mingling condensate, with the resulting mixture being pumped into an existing oil trunkline, running for another 70 kilometres to connect to the ESPO pipeline.

Developing oil reserves at gas fields operated by Gazprom is seen by Gazprom Neft as an opportunity to maintain or grow its oil production as the availability of onshore conventional oil reserves is declining.

The share of output from such projects in West and East Siberia is forecast to grow to 10% of the company’s total output by the end of 2023.

Gazprom Neft said that the new pipeline will be essential in increasing its own annual oil production at Chayanda to about 11 million barrels of oil.

With estimated recoverable oil reserves of over 450 million barrels at Chayanda, the producer hopes that it will be capable of doubling the annual production target to 22 million barrels once additional processing and support facilities are built.

The Chayanda field also harbours estimated recoverable gas reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic metres that are being developed by Gazprom and exported to China via the Sila Sibiri gas trunkline.