Gazprom Neft is the first oil company in Russia to be awarded two of a new kind of upstream license, for developing technologies for prospecting for hard-to-recover reserves, at the same time. Technological test sites for evaluating domestic solutions are to be established at the Palyanovsky and Salymsky-3 license blocks in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra. This new subsoil-usage category, in contrast to traditional exploration and production licenses, is intended to cover the development, testing and deployment of innovations for developing hard-to-recover oil and for enhancing oil recovery. This mechanism will mean companies can focus on developing technologies rather than on the drilling and development commitments typical under the traditional operating model. It also simplifies procedures for drafting and approving project documentation. Establishing test sites considerably increases scope for field-testing technologies, and for their subsequent fine-tuning and roll-out at existing and future oil and gas assets.A network of technological test sites for testing E&P solutions in developing Bazhenov and Domanic formations and Achimovsky and Paleozoic deposits is to be rolled-out across the Volga-Urals region and Western Siberia over the next few years. Open-access innovation test-sites are also be established throughout Russia, at which all oil and gas market players — from subsoil users and oilfield services companies to R&D centres and universities — will be able to test their technologies.This new subsoil-usage definition has been put in place in accordance with Federal Law No. 396-FZ “On Amendments to the Subsoil Law” dated 2 December 2019, and under a decision by Rosnedra (the Federal Agency for Mineral Resources). Test facilities of this kind will be used for technological development and will also act as a pilot platform for developing and testing the most viable tax-incentive model for roll-out across the entire industry, in the future.Developing this network of technological test facilities throughout Russia will be undertaken under the federal “Technologies for Developing Hard-to-Recover Reserves” project.