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Yarega oil and titanium deposit

Yarega oil and titanium deposit

Yarega oil and titanium deposit is one of the largest titanium resources in Russia (640 million tonnes of titanium ore) containing over 40% of titanium dioxide (TiO2) reserves of industrial categories in the Russian Federation.

The deposit is situated in the central industrial region of the Komi Republic with a well developed infrastructure.

The leucoxene titanium containing ore of Yarega deposit contains an average of 9% of titanium dioxide (TiO2).

The development of Yarega deposit gave huge scientific and practical experience in producing and processing titanium containing ore.

Development history

  • Yarega deposit was discovered in 1932 by the Ukhta Geological Prospecting Expedition.
  • The unique character of Yarega field is that it contains both large oil reserves and huge titanium ore reserves – over 40% of all titanium reserves in Russia.
  • The exploration of the deposit is key to solving the problem of supplying resources to titanium consuming industries.
  • The oil component of the formation has been developed since 1939 through a unique shaft method. The oil production was at its maximum in 1952.
  • The exploration of the titanium component started in 1958.
  • The Yarega deposit oil is heavy crude oil with viscosity of around 12,000 mPa•s (millipascal-second). Compare with water viscosity which is 1 mPa•s. The field was discovered in 1932. It comprises three structures: Yarega, Lyayol, and Vezhavozh. Of these three only Yarega area has been developed at industrial-scale level since 1939, with thermoshaft method of oil production applied since 1972.
  • Currently Russia has no operating titanium raw material base of its own. After the breakup of the Soviet Union all the operating resources were left in Ukraine. Thus, the problem of resource supply is the problem of the country’s industrial policy.
  • In 2013, LUKOIL became the first company to implement Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage project in a system of horizontal wells of the Lyayol area of Yarega deposit. The Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage will allow the effective development of more than 16 million tonnes of oil reserves in the Lyayol area only.