The Samotlor field is located in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug of the Tyumen Region, 15-60 km north and northeast of the city of Nizhnevartovsk, which was built specifically for oil workers developing discovered hydrocarbon reserves. Nizhnevartovsk was formed from a small shift settlement and gradually grew into a full-fledged modern city with a population of about 250 thousand people. Next to the deposit is the lake of the same name Samotlor, whose name in translation from the local Khanty language means "dead lake" or "poor water".
The Samotlorskoye field was discovered on June 22, 1965 as a result of prospecting and exploration work carried out by the Megion Oil and Gas Exploration Group headed by V.A. Abazov. According to the discoverers, the fountain that broke through from the exploration well was so strong that steel pipes were heated, and its output was more than a thousand tons per day.
The development of the Samotlor deposit was hindered by the strong swampiness of the area, and it was not possible to adopt the experience of foreign colleagues to facilitate the task due to the uniqueness of the conditions. Initially, engineers proposed either the drainage of the site, or the construction of special overpasses for drilling rigs. However, in the first case, the probability of a fire increased, and the second option was not suitable due to the high cost of time and resources.
As a result, the problem was solved by dumping artificial islands right on the lake-swamp and installing drilling equipment on them. The first production well of the Samotlor oil field was launched in 1968, and commercial production began in 1969.