Product quality assurance

A well-designed quality control and performance management system is a prerequisite for the successful operation of an oil company.

Gazprom Neft has adopted a Quality Policy, which aims to maximise the efficiency of production and sales of competitive high-quality products that comply with Russian and international standards and regulations and meet consumer requirements.

Responsibility for implementing this Policy and fulfilling obligations related to quality rests with the CEOs and Deputy CEOs of the company’s production and sales subsidiaries, and with executives of business units responsible for performing these functions.

Integrated quality-management system

The company has in place an integrated quality-management system compliant with the international ISO 9001:2015 standard. Executives of the company’s production and sales subsidiaries conduct an annual performance analysis and assessment of the system.

Enterprises regularly monitor the performance of the quality-management system against its targets, and conduct internal audits. In addition, an external audit is conducted by an independent certification agency. The enterprises are also seeking new approaches and best practices in the field of quality control by benchmarking best practices of Russian and foreign peers.

In 2019, follow-up audits of compliance with the ISO 9001:2015 standard were conducted at the Omsk and Moscow Refineries. In addition, NPP Neftekhimiya was recertified for compliance with the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Compliance of the quality management system at Poliom (a joint venture with SIBUR Holding set up on a parity basis) with the ISO 9001:2015 standard was confirmed.

Petroleum-products quality control

The quality of petroleum products is monitored by quality control laboratories at all stages of production. Key focus areas covered by quality control include:

  • incoming quality control of raw materials, chemicals and auxiliary materials, catalysts, adsorbents, and additives used in production;
  • in-line quality control at process facilities;
  • quality control of finished products;
  • quality control of commercial products being shipped to consumers;
  • quality control of petroleum products at refineries, tank farms, refuelling terminals, and filling stations, and testing as part of production inspections at process facilities;
  • product quality assessment against quality targets. These processes are documented under the established procedure.

Gazprom Neft refineries are implementing a product quality control automation programme, and adopting new control methods involving the use of new equipment. In particular, the SMOTR ('Inspection') process monitoring system has been put into operation. The SMOTR system is designed for comprehensive automated monitoring of deviations from standards, covering 12,200 process parameters and 5,800 quality indicators. The system automatically selects corrective measures to be taken if any deviations are detected. The system monitors the entire production facilities of the Omsk and Moscow Refineries online.

When selling petroleum products, the company continuously monitors and maintains their quality by using a range of instruments for assessing product quality at various stages of the sales process.

Gazprom Neft Neftekontrol ('Oil Control') System

The Gazprom Neft Neftekontrol ('Oil Control') System is an end-to-end operational efficiency tool for the downstream segment. It was developed in-house to continuously monitor and control the volume and quality of petroleum products at various stages, from the refinery to the customer.

Smart sensors and systems monitor key qualitative and quantitative metrics of all petroleum product flows in real time, sending information to the Neftekontrol System. System tools build a digital model of the movement of petroleum products, identifying potential quantity and quality risks, and improving performance along the value chain by forecasting and reducing the risks of petroleum products losses. The Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology (Rosstandart) have recognised Neftekontrol as the industry standard for the fuel traceability system for all market participants.

Today, 90% of Gazprom Neft assets are connected to this unique system. In 2020, Gazprom Neft plans to roll out the monitoring and control system across 100% of its key assets along the value chain in the downstream segment. After its implementation is completed, the Neftekontrol System will make it possible to receive and process data from more than 50,000 sensors, enabling customers to benefit from effective quality control.

90%
of Gazprom Neft assets are connected to the Neftekontrol system
Anatoly Cherner

We are making further improvements to the Gazprom Neft Neftekontrol system, which is expected to cover all facilities throughout the value chain by 2020. New technologies mean we can collect and process large volumes of data in real time, transforming business processes. Connecting up cutting-edge algorithms means we can deliver exponential improvements in efficiency and stability in producing and delivering finished oil products to customers, from start to finish.

Anatoly Cherner Deputy CEO for Logistics, Processing and Sales, Gazprom Neft

Product compliance with Russian and international quality standards

The company’s products comply with requirements set out in:

  • Technical Regulation of the Customs Union TR TS 013/2011 'On Requirements for Motor and Aviation Gasoline, Diesel and Bunker Fuel, Jet Fuel, and Fuel Oil';
  • Technical Regulation of the Customs Union TR TS 014/2011 'Road Safety';
  • Technical Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) TR EAES 036/2016 'Requirements for Liquefied Hydrocarbon Gases Used as Fuel'.

Motor gasoline and diesel fuel manufactured by Gazprom Neft refineries comply with requirements set out in European standards for Euro 5 fuel (EN 228 and EN 596 respectively).

All bunker fuel complies with the international ISO 8217:2012 and GOST 32510-2013 standards. In addition, bunker fuel complies with requirements set out in Technical Regulation TR TS 013/2011.

All bitumen products manufactured by Gazprom Neft comply with Russian and international standards: GOST 33133-2014, GOST 22245-90, GOST 9548-74, GOST R 58400.1-2019, GOST R 52128-2003, GOST R 52056-2003, EN 12591:2009 and EN 14023:2010.

In 2019, 32 products manufactured by Gazpromneft-Lubricants were officially licensed by the American Petroleum Institute (API), and 29 products (including four new ones) were approved by Daimler AG, one of the key global car manufacturers shaping industry requirements for lubricants. The company has obtained about 500 approvals for its product portfolio from Russian and foreign equipment manufacturers.

Health, safety and environmental standards

Environmental performance is monitored in accordance with product standards, regulations and specifications (Russian national standards (GOST), technical specifications (TU) and in-house standards (STO)). The quality of commercial products manufactured by the company’s refineries is assessed when each batch is certified by quality control laboratories at the refineries, and the relevant information is recorded in product certificates issued for each batch.

Products governed by regulations (motor gasoline, jet, diesel and bunker fuel, fuel oil, road bitumen, liquefied hydrocarbon gases) are issued with declarations of compliance with requirements set out in Technical Regulations of the Customs Union and Technical Regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union. Compliance with environmental standards is confirmed for every batch of products.

In addition, in 2018 and 2019, the company developed and reviewed five Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for bitumen materials and 213 SDSs for lubricants in accordance with the Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), adopted to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment.

No instances of non-compliance of Gazprom Neft products with regulatory requirements and voluntary codes related to health and safety impacts of products or services were recorded in 2019.

Key focus areas for product quality improvement in 2019

Key initiatives implemented by the company’s refineries and sales units in 2019 included:

  • developing, and starting to produce and sell new high-quality environmentally friendly products;
  • standardising and certifying commercial products in accordance with Russian and international regulatory requirements;
  • quality-control and business-process automation;
  • adopting new quality-control methods and best practices for business processes;
  • implementing technical, technological, organisational and managerial measures to improve product quality;
  • actively cooperating with government bodies, Russian and international organisations establishing quality policies and standards;
  • upgrading and developing laboratory facilities and maintaining the reliability of testing equipment and instrumentation.

In 2019, Gazpromneft-Lubricants also introduced a new marine oil for engines running on ultra-low sulphur fuel oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.1%. The Gazpromneft Ocean CCL17 high-technology product fully meets the new MARPOL requirements MARPOL - International convention aimed at prevention of pollution from ships. Since January 1st 2020 MARPOL requires prohibition on usage of marine fuel with Sulphur content of more than 0.5%. .

The Gazprom Neft long-term strategy involves further developing the production of high-technology lubricants, and expanding its international distribution network for selling these products.

Share of environmentally friendly products in the total output between 2015 and 2019, %
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Euro 5 motor fuel 95 100 100 100 100
Motor fuel compliant with Euro 4 and higher standards 23 25 26 27 32
Low-viscosity marine fuel, ultra-low sulphur fuel oil (ULSFO) 0.1 9 25 25
Anatoly Cherner

Gazprom Neft is gradually implementing a comprehensive, integrated programme on the technological development of its refineries, targeted at increasing the production of ultra-environmentally-friendly oil products, and increasing refining depth. Modernisation projects mean the company can respond to changes in the market quickly, respond to industry challenges successfully, and increase efficiency, throughout the entire value chain. Implementing the refinery modernisation programme and improving Gazprom Neft’s bunkering and logistics infrastructure means we can supply our clients with environmentally-friendly marine fuels meeting the latest international standards.

Anatoly Cherner Deputy CEO for Logistics, Processing and Sales, Gazprom Neft
Production of new environmentally friendly bunker fuel and marine oils

In late 2019, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker—the operator of the Gazprom Neft bunkering business—started to sell hybrid bunker fuel with sulphur content of less than 0.5%.

This new fuel is fully compliant with the requirements set out in the MARPOL 2020 international convention. Well-developed bunkering terminal infrastructure and technological upgrades of its refineries will enable Gazprom Neft to meet growing demand for environmentally friendly bunker fuels on the Russian market.

Following testing, this fuel has been certified as complying with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) requirements.

VLSFO 0.5: a new environmentally friendly Gazprom Neft fuel compliant with global standards

In 2020, new requirements set out in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) regulating sulphur content in bunker fuels are coming into effect.

Tightening of requirements for sulphur (SO2) content in fuels, %
Fuel alternatives for ship owners

VLSFO 0.5

ULSFO 0.1

Diesel fuel/gas oil

Market share in 2020
~40%

LNG

High-sulphur products

(for vessels equipped with scrubbers)

Product quality improvement goals for 2020:

  • developing and starting to produce new product types (brands) meeting the regulatory requirements for quality currently adopted by the market;
  • continuing to implement refinery modernisation and upgrade projects;
  • commissioning the unique Euro+ combined oil refining unit;
  • conducting original R&D with G-Base base oils in the motor oil segment, developing new platforms (formulations) for premium motor oils for commercial and passenger vehicles;
  • starting to produce synthetic turbine oils and stationary gas engine oils with optimised formulations, and putting them on the market;
  • conducting research to develop bitumen production processes, improve bitumen quality and explore its properties, developing a system for managing all stages of bitumen production and sales as part of the BITUM MAP project;
  • continuing to implement projects to automate business processes related to aviation fuel sales.

Customer relations

Gazprom Neft builds direct and long-term relations with consumers, and maintains an open dialogue based on mutual respect. As a responsible supplier, the company informs consumers about its products and services in a timely manner, and is taking steps to improve its query and complaint management system.

Gazprom Neft conducts regular customer satisfaction surveys, and responds to feedback received from contractors, including complaint management.

Relations with corporate and wholesale customers

The company communicates with corporate and wholesale customers through the following channels:

  • information and technical support for products supplied to consumers;
  • direct communication between the management and customers during training sessions and workshops for partners and consumers, meetings and technical sessions with representatives of industry-specific ministries of constituent entities of the Russian Federation;
  • publishing information on corporate websites and publicly available online resources;
  • marketing and promotional campaigns;
  • loyalty programmes;
  • branded packaging.

Every batch of products is issued with a set of accompanying documents, including a quality certificate, a safety certificate, and a statutory document certifying that the product complies with the requirements of standardisation documents or EAEU technical regulations. In addition, when developing or amending standardisation documents, the company always obtains the relevant approvals from consumers.

Relations with retail customers

The company communicates with retail consumers of petroleum products through a wide range of channels: communications at filling stations, information materials published in the media, official community pages of the Gazprom Neft retail network on social media, the PR office, feedback received on social media and via the Single Support Centre (SSC), face-to-face communication with customers as part of below-the-line, conventional and digital advertising campaigns.

The company SSC is a 24/7 multi-channel service using various conventional and digital communication tools. It enables the company to respond promptly to customer enquiries.

All queries are grouped by type and subject, recorded and processed in an integrated system. The quality of customer consultations is monitored regularly throughout the month across all communication channels. If anything is found to have gone wrong, corrective measures are taken. The company conducts regular surveys among end users to assess satisfaction levels at all stages of service provision.

In 2019, the company launched an integrated programme, Quality 360˚, to coordinate the work of PR and marketing functions, in-house and external experts and filling station employees to improve the retail consumer experience in the Gazprom Neft retail network.

Quality 360˚ takes into account specific characteristics of the audience in terms of their sensitivity to information on quality, and includes content and promotion channels that best suit each audience.

Gazprom Neft efforts to raise awareness among retail consumers are focused on:

  • raising consumer awareness by explaining the advantages of Gazprom Neft products, eradicating myths and biases, and integrating quality-related messages into car racing projects and national promotional campaigns;
  • helping the car industry audience to improve its knowledge of fuel quality by implementing educational and expert projects.

Customer satisfaction surveys

To assess retail consumer satisfaction with the quality of motor fuel and services, the company conducts regular surveys, studies feedback received via touch screens of CRM systems in checkout areas of filling stations, and analyses comments and queries received through hotline channels and on social media.

The key indicator of consumer loyalty to the Gazprom Neft retail network is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) index. In 2019, the situation with price regulation on the market stabilised as compared to the previous period, which resulted in a slight increase in the NPS. Moreover, the Gazprom Neft retail network NPS reached 53 points, exceeding the market average of 46 points. Market price stabilisation in 2019 also had a positive impact on customer experience, with the indicator returning to the 'pre-crisis' level.

In 2019, according to a survey by Ipsos Comcon, Gazprom Neft ranked second in terms of the NPS, surpassed only by international brands such as Shell and BP.

Key issues raised by consumers about the company’s products in 2019 included:

  • the loyalty programme;
  • operation of automated filling stations;
  • promotional campaigns;
  • online payments for fuel;
  • service quality;
  • payment systems;
  • fuel quality;
  • prices at filling stations (as compared to competitors and other filling stations within the network);
  • the status of filling station services, equipment and premises.
Public recognition

'Russia’s 100 Best Products’ competition

Gazprom Neft refineries’ products participate in the 'Russia’s 100 Best Products’ national competition every year. In 2019, the following products were award winners: TS-1 top-grade jet fuel, Euro-95 (Type III) premium-grade unleaded gasoline, Super Euro-98 (Type III) unleaded gasoline, grade E and F EURO inter-season diesel fuel all won certificates, while BND 70/100 and 100/130 viscous petroleum bitumen, and PBV 60, PBV 90 and PBV 130 polymer-modified asphalt cement won prizes. BND 70/100 and 100/130 bitumen, as well as grade E and F inter-season EURO diesel fuel were recognised as the New Product of the Year. According to the terms and conditions of the competition, quality certificates issued for these products are marked with the 'Russia’s 100 Best Products’ sign.

Gazprom Neft bitumen assets—the Omsk Refinery and NOVA-BRIT (Vyazma, Smolensk Oblast)—won the 'Russia’s 100 Best Products’ awards (with NOVA-BRIT products winning this prize for the first time). The 'Russia’s 100 Best Products’ prize was also awarded to three premium-grade products from the Omsk Lubricants Plant.

Best-known retail network

According to Ipsos Comcon and Romir, the Gazprom Neft retail network, the 'On Our Way!' loyalty programme and G-Drive branded fuel are the best known in 39 regions in which the company operates.

Top-quality service

The Gazprom Neft retail network won the 'Consumer Rights and Service Quality' Award in the 'Retail Services' category, and was given the 'Consumers’ Choice' award for the best service by public vote (confirmed by the findings of an opinion survey conducted by Romir).

Priznanie ('Recognition') Award

The Gazprom Neft retail network won the annual 'Priznanie' Award in a competition conducted by the Fontanka.ru online newspaper in the form of independent public vote.

Year-end figures between 2014 and 2019Data on the NPS and customer experience is comparable within the periods 2014–2015 and 2016–2019 (a surge in 2016 compared to 2015 was caused by a change in methodology).
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
NPS, Russia
40 32 57 59 51 53
Customer experience The figure reflects the share of customers who gave the highest score (9 and 10) when answering the question about their customer experience., Russia, %
49 46 64 68 63 68

In 2019, the total number of contacts with retail consumers increased six-fold to 146 million. They include customer queries received by the SSC through voice and non-voice channels (chats in the mobile app, on the website, in messaging services, emails and messages sent via the feedback form), all activities of the Gazprom Neft retail network mobile app users, as well as feedback received from customers through CRMSensor devices.

The number of complaints remains low, accounting for only 0.07% of the total number of contacts. Most complaints are related to the operation of automated filling stations, while the remainder pertains to service quality, the functioning of mobile apps, failures of data terminal equipment used in the loyalty programme, bonus points not being credited, and promotional campaigns. All queries and complaints are recorded in an integrated Open-Source Ticket Request System (OTRS) and are grouped by subject, type and topic. If a customer is provided with online consultation, the script records the relevant query as closed for the purposes of statistics. Unusual queries and complaints requiring additional information in order to reply are routed to the relevant company function, which prepares a reply, which is then returned to SSC operators, who communicate it to customers.

Corporate customer satisfaction levels are assessed through a questionnaire survey. Analysis of feedback received from consumers of aviation and bunker fuel, bitumen materials, lubricants and petrochemical products shows an increase in the level of satisfaction with product quality, the reliability of supplies, and the quality of additional and customer services.

An important focus of the company's customer-relations initiatives is the development of digital sales channels and digitalisation of customer services. In 2019, the share of digital channels (the virtual loyalty card, the virtual co-branded card and the AZS.GO app) in total retail sales through the Gazprom Neft network was about 6%. The number of active users of the Gazprom Neft retail network mobile app reached 1.6 million.

'On Our Way!' loyalty programme

2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of the 'On Our Way!' loyalty programme. During this time, the programme has evolved from bonus cards to an online platform providing customers with the fullest possible range of services.

'On Our Way!' is one of the largest loyalty programmes in Russia. At year-end 2019, the number of loyalty card holders in Russia and the CIS countries totalled 12 million (+770,000 vs 2018). The programme has been successfully introduced in eight countries: Russia, Serbia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Card users account for as many as 84% transactions in the Gazprom Neft retail network.

Digital products and services

In 2019, Gazprom Neft introduced an innovative product: NFC-enabled virtual co-branded Gazprom Neft-Gazprombank cards, which are available through the Gazprom Neft retail network mobile app. This card can now be issued through the Gazprom Neft retail network mobile app, added to a virtual wallet, and used as a method of payment for fuel ordered through the app and any other purchases. In addition, the card functions as the 'On Our Way!' loyalty card. In the first five months of 2019, after this function was made available, customers issued 290,000 virtual co-branded cards, which is almost 100,000 more than the number of plastic co-branded cards.

As part of customer-service development, the functionality of the Gazprom Neft mobile app was also expanded. For example, users of the mobile app became the first customers in Russia to be able to operate coffee machines via their smartphones in Drive Cafes at Gazprom Neft filling stations. Another addition to the app is the Space.GO game, in which motorists can answer questions on various subjects to earn additional bonus points under the 'On Our Way!' loyalty programme.

The digitalisation initiative covered not only customer services, but also filling stations themselves: equipment at filling stations was integrated into a single smart system: the Infrastructure Monitoring Centre (IMC). The automated monitoring and predictive analytics capacities of the IMC make it possible to monitor the status of equipment and the operation of filling stations online, which helps to improve the reliability and longevity of equipment.