Scientists of the Research Institute of Natural Gas of the State Concern "Turkmengaz" are developing solutions to the problem of the Darvaza crater. The task of extinguishing it and stopping the harmful emissions resulting from gas leakage and combustion was set by the government of the country for the specialists of the oil and gas complex in January of this year.
Bayrammyrat Pirniyazov, Director of the Natural Gas Research Institute, spoke about the research being carried out in this area at the session “Innovative technologies and know-how in hydrocarbon production and reduction of associated gas emissions” within the framework of the investment forum “Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan-2022”.
The crater is located about 270 kilometers from Ashgabat. It is a failure with a diameter of 60 m and a depth of about 20 m in the territory of a natural gas field. In 1963, an exploratory well was drilled at the Chaldzhulba structure of the Zeagli-Dervezinsky group of fields, but at a shallow depth an underground void filled with gas was discovered, into which the upper layers of the soil collapsed. Then the crater was set on fire to avoid poisoning people and animals with gas. It was assumed that the gas would burn out within a few days or the productive formation would be flooded, as in other structures, at a distance of 5-7 km, where there are 2 more craters. However, this has not happened since then.
The burning of the crater has a negative impact on the environment, in addition, natural gas is consumed, which can bring significant profit. The leadership of the fuel and energy complex was instructed to involve scientists and, if necessary, foreign specialists to solve this problem.
Specialists of the Scientific Research Institute of State Concern "Turkmengas" studied the geological structure of the layers of the Zeagli-Dervezinsky group of fields, a feature of which is the presence of a large number of thin thin layers occurring at a depth of 200 to 950 meters, interbedded with aquifers and dense layers. It was also revealed that the layers and deposits interact with each other.
Turkmen scientists propose drilling an inclined well into a productive formation that has been operating for more than 50 years. According to Pirniyazov, the forced extraction of gas from this well will allow controlling seepage flows and reducing uncontrolled gas emissions into the atmosphere.
He also said that scientists from Belarus and Slovenia had received proposals for this task and invited specialists who were interested in this problem to participate in the implementation of this unique project.
In addition, the director of the research institute told the forum delegates about the work being done at the institute to create underground natural gas storage facilities, search for and explore suitable geological structures, expressing interest in cooperation with specialists and companies with experience in the design and operation of underground gas storage facilities.
The Institute of Natural Gas of the State Concern "Turkmengaz" has over 40 years of experience in conducting scientific research in the field of geological exploration and calculation of reserves, design of well drilling, preparation, transportation and processing of natural gas, technical and economic analysis of oil and gas projects. Particular attention is paid to the environmental aspects of all technological processes in the oil and gas industry. One of the main activities of the Research Institute is the design and scientific support for the development of gas fields in Eastern and Central Turkmenistan.