High-Viscosity Oil


High-Viscosity Oil Department was established on January 1, 2016 within the structure of the PJSC TATNEFT’s Business Service Center with a reporting line to the Deputy General Director of PJSC TATNEFT for the development and production of crude oil and gas.

The objectives of the High Viscosity Oil Department are as follows: increasing the implementation efficiency of the project strategically important for the Company - high-viscosity oil (HVO) production; organization of centralized management of the HVO field development process; forestalling of potential problematic issues, risks and project execution delays.

As of today, the Department includes:

  • Geology and Modeling Office;
  • Oil Field Development and Well Interventions Planning Office;
  • Economic Service Group;
  • Management Service Office;
  • Geological and Technological Section of the Nurlat zone;
  • Geological and Technological Section of the Yamash zone.


One of the most significant projects of the Company currently implemented is a high-viscosity oil production project. The first tasks for the high-viscosity oil (HVO) fields development were outlined in the early 2000s, while the first wells were drilled and put into trial operation in 2006.

Currently, PJSC TATNEFT has mastered the whole range of tasks related to the preparation of the HVO deposits development projects, field facilities construction, engineering and technology of drilling and well workover, oil production and treatment, and the elaboration of environmental and industrial safety measures. The HVO-3200 project is being implemented, which embraces 24 HVO uplifts with an output of 3.2 million tonnes of oil per year.

PJSC TATNEFT implements many process-engineering solutions in the development and production of high-viscosity oil fields, including:

  • horizontal wells drilling to shallow depth;
  • solvent injection to accelerate the development of connectivity between the wells;
  • installation of a thermal gel plug to isolate the inflow of water in the wells with the presence of low oil saturation zones;
  • arrangement of production and injection well clusters;
  • engineering design of steam supply systems;
  • collection and treatment of high-viscosity oil;
  • treatment of produced water for reuse.

Stationary and block-modular design boiler rooms are used as heat-generating installations on the HVO uplifts. Condensing economizers are used at the stationary boilers, which, in turn, allow reducing fuel consumption by 7-10%.

Stationary boiler rooms

Block-modular design boiler rooms

A high-viscosity oil treatment plant intended for treatment of high-viscosity oil from the Ashalchinskoye field providing for the removal of gas, mechanical impurities, water and salts was designed and put into operation, complying with the requirements of the first quality group. The treatment of high-viscosity oil is carried out with application of the strict thermochemical dehydration mode, coalescing devices and electric dehydration.

"Ashalci" HVO Treatment Plant

A great deal of work has been done on the imported equipment substitution and the development of high-viscosity oil deposits is almost entirely carried out using domestic equipment, such as pipes, packers, valves, screw pumps, steam metering stations, pressure sensors.

High temperature sucker rod pump

Screw pump rotor

Geological exploration works are performed on the annual basis at the promising areas and are aimed at finding new HVO deposits.

As part of the research activities, joint work is carried out with the TatNIPIneft R&D institute, K (P) FU (injection of catalysts, solvents, setting of thermal gel compositions, etc., while part of the work is carried out within the framework of the Federal Target-Oriented Program.

As of today, the most relevant topics for the Company in the area of HVO production are as follows:
Development of catalysts for the underground oil upgrading under the thermal treatment conditions.

Laying of scientific basis of three-dimensional geochemical models of oil and gas deposits for the integrated engineering design of fields’ development and increasing of the oil recovery factor.

Laying the theoretical groundwork for cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly methods for reducing the viscosity of HVO in field conditions.

Development and application of algorithms and technologies of artificial intelligence in assessing oil-bearing areas and analyzing the efficiency of the hydrocarbon deposits development.

The most important activity area of the High Viscosity Oil Department is to ensure the environmental and industrial safety. The work is performed on the continuous basis to study the state of the soil, drinking water, and atmospheric air, and to monitor the deformation of the earth's surface to address the issues,

All ideas and technologies used in the development and operation of HVO deposits are protected by patents of the Russian Federation. TATNEFT is one of the leaders in the number of patents in the HVO area.

In general, TATNEFT Company is ready to solve the whole range of HVO field development challenges; it can offer provision of services to other companies using the whole range of unique technologies and equipment acquired during the implementation of the high-viscosity oil production project.