Sustainability technologies

Today, social and economic well-being depends to a large extent on a reliable and affordable supply of energy resources, as well as related technologies improving the safety, productivity, efficiency and resilience of energy systems.

Priority areas of technological development include the following:

  • an increase in the oil recovery factor at mature fields;
  • development of multiphase fields;
  • production from low-permeability reservoirs;
  • efficient and safe offshore development in the ice-bound sea;
  • developing and producing refining catalysts.
Gazprom Neft intellectual property (IP) portfolio
Gazprom Neft intellectual property (IP) portfolio

For each focus area, the company is developing or implementing projects to design, test or apply the necessary technologies.

Essential documents:

  • Upstream Technology Strategy;
  • Offshore Technology Strategy;
  • Downstream Research and Development (R&D) Strategy;
  • Innovative Development Programme.

The company has created modern innovation infrastructure that includes science and technology centres (the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, the Bazhenov Technology Centre, the Bitumens Research and Development Centre), techno-parks (the Industrial Automation Techno-park, the Corporate Information Technology Techno-park) and other platforms for technological development.

Technological leadership strategy

The company has identified technological leadership as one of the three key priorities of its Development Strategy to 2030.

25 billion
invested in 2019 under the Gazprom Neft Innovative Development Programme

Key projects and 2019 highlights

Upstream

As part of a national project to develop technology for the Bazhenov Formation, Gazprom Neft confirmed the viability of multistage fracking in horizontal wells. The company continued to explore Domanic deposits in the Orenburg Oblast (the Domanic project), develop a technological solution for hydrocarbon prospecting in pre-Jurassic horizons (the Palaeozoic project), and explore the Achimov Formation.

The Zapadno-Salymskoye field pilot project involving the use of chemical flooding technology resulted in a 17- percentage point increase in the oil recovery factor. The company plans to test new surfactant-polymer compositions at the Kholmogorskoye and Sutorminskoye fields in the coming years.

Miscible displacement technology, which proved highly efficient during laboratory tests, will enable the company to achieve incremental production at fields with a high gas/oil ratio. In 2020, the company plans to construct surface infrastructure to implement this technology at its facilities.

The implementation of digital tools expands Gazprom Neft’s key competencies (geological evaluation, drilling, production and construction management). The company achieved incremental oil production at the Vyngapurovskoye field during pilot tests in 2019, based on the recommendations of the digital system that was designed to identify oil-bearing spaces. A machine-learning model is used to process geological data and identify promising formations that, because of their small size or complex structure, have not been detected using conventional methods. The company will be able to boost production without extra infrastructure costs by rolling out this technology across its sites.

Gazpromneft-Yamal has tested self-learning software designed to predict changes in rock types in the course of drilling. The system alerts the operator to the possibility of exiting the productive zone, which enables real-time drilling trajectory adjustment.

Downstream

Gazprom Neft has implemented Kapitan ('Captain'), a digital logistic-management system for projects in the Arctic. This system enables uninterrupted oil shipments from the Prirazlomnoye and Novoportovskoye fields.

As part of a national project intended to create the first modern refining-catalyst plant in Russia, Gazprom Neft is developing efficient catalysts to replace imported products. A state-of-the-art catalyst plant is under construction in Omsk.

Contribution of digitalisation towards sustainable development

In September 2019, the Gazprom Neft Board of Directors approved the Digital Transformation Strategy to 2030.

The planned changes are intended to improve flexibility and efficiency in business management, based on data and digital twins of assets. The company is developing in-house solutions in artificial intelligence (AI), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other Industry 4.0 technologies.

By implementing the Strategy, the company will be able to achieve considerable safety improvements by significantly reducing human involvement in hazardous production processes, and using unmanned production technologies.

Alexander Dyukov

Gazprom Neft is the first company in Russia to launch large-scale production of modern catalytic solutions for oil refining, based on domestic technology. In partnership with Russian academics, Gazprom Neft will enable the production of goods that greatly outperform global alternatives in terms of functionality. This new production facility will not just be focused on the domestic market; it will also offer high-quality Russian catalytic systems to international customers.

Alexander Dyukov CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft
National project to develop new catalysts

As part of a national project, Gazprom Neft is creating a new catalyst plant that will allow the company to meet Russian refineries’ demand for effective catalysts, in full.

By developing catalyst production at the Omsk Refinery, Gazprom Neft is essentially creating a new industry.

Russian oil refineries import 70% to 100% of catalysts of various types.

21,000 tonnes – annual production capacity of the future catalyst plant in Omsk

The new 21,000-tonne-per-year plant will produce 15,000 tonnes of cat-cracking catalysts, 4,000 tonnes of hydrotreatment catalysts and 2,000 tonnes of hydrocracking catalysts per year. The new plant is an integrated facility, which enables the production of all catalyst components.

The project will contribute to regional development by creating over 300 high-technology jobs.

Gazprom Neft has partnered with leading Russian research centres. Together with the Centre of New Chemical Technologies of the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, which forms part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the company is continuously updating the range of cat-cracking catalysts that have been used by the company’s refineries for many years. Hydro-processing catalysts are being developed by the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (a part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) in Novosibirsk, and the Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis in Moscow. The hydro-processing catalysts have been successfully tested at the Omsk Refinery.

A range of pilot units are being built at the Omsk Refinery to test new types of cracking and hydro-processing catalysts.

The company continued to develop the Aroforming technology, which delivers unmatched efficiency by enabling the processing of low-grade raw materials (straight-run gasoline) into high-octane motor gasoline. Testing was successfully completed in 2019, and the company is developing plans to commercialise this technology.

Gazprom Neft is also developing technologies for manufacturing new products, such as needle coke and unleaded aviation gasoline.

The company is also developing processes to convert heavy raw materials, such as tar, asphalt or pyrolysis resin, into high-quality bunker fuel compliant with MARPOL 2020 standards, or into materials for catalytic cracking and hydrocracking facilities.

Promoting the development of high-technology products on the Russian market

The company is implementing solutions available on the market and supporting the development of new Russian-designed products. A substantial number of import substitution projects are implemented by partner companies.

Seismic surveys at the Ayashsky licence block in the Sea of Okhotsk provide an example of import substitution in practice. During these surveys, Gazprom Neft has become the first oil company in Russia to use the domestically produced standalone 'CRAB' seabed stations for seismic surveys. Previously, these surveys were largely conducted using foreign equipment.

The development of the seabed stations demonstrates the successful partnership between Gazprom Neft, the government, a domestic technology developer and equipment manufacturer, and a Russian service company. Gazprom Neft is also implementing a number of other joint projects to create home grown technologies for offshore exploration and production.

Needle coke production

The first pilot batch of premium-grade needle coke was produced at the Omsk Refinery in 2019. Needle coke is a valuable raw material for the metals, nuclear, chemical and aerospace industries. The technology used in its production is an R&D output patented by the company. The batch was sent to a manufacturing enterprise (Energoprom Group) and will be used to produce the first premium-quality electrodes in Russia made from Russian materials. Plans for the future include developing technologies for producing other premium brands of needle coke.

Once renovated, a delayed coking unit at the Omsk Refinery will produce
38,700 tonnes
of raw needle coke per year.