Technology innovation inápriority business areas isáaáprerequisite for the Companyĺs successful long-term growth.
Gazprom Neftĺs strategic goal isátoáproduce 100ámn TOE annually byá2020. This will require year-on-year growth ofáhydrocarbon outputáŚ aámajor challenge, which will make great demands onáthe energy and abilities ofáthe Companyĺs science and innovation specialists. They need toáincrease the efficiency ofáoil production from depleted resources atáageing fields; develop new regions ináYamal, Eastern Siberia and Orenburg Region; begin offshore operations, including work beyond the Arctic Circle ináthe Pechora Sea, Kara Sea and Barents Sea; implement projects outside Russia; and gain competence ináproduction ofánon-conventional hydrocarbons, including bitumen, bituminous sands, bituminous shale and high-viscosity crude oil.
The Companyĺs innovative development strategy upátoá2020 includes aárange ofáprograms toámake exploration more efficient, using the latest advances inágeology and geophysics, and exploiting oil and gas deposits with minimal environmental impact. Asáreserves production will increase over time, the Company will need toácreate and apply technologies toáraise recovery levels ofácrude from deposits ináprematurely drowned fields, fields with hard-to-recover deposits and low saturation. The latest technologies for directional drilling, multi-shaft wells, and drilling ofásidetracks will beádeployed. Atáthe same time, use ofáinnovative technologies will reduce the cost ofáwell interventions and make workovers much more efficient. The Company will also start toáuse aárange ofáenergy-saving technologies atáits fields.
INNOVATION IN EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION
The Companyĺs main objective ináscience and technology isátoáapply the most recent and most appropriate know-how, and toádeploy new equipment and technologies, ináorder toáensure dynamic production growth. The critical innovation factor for any business isáthe ability toácreate and efficiently apply new technical solutions and technologies. Use ofáadvanced technologies isábecoming aádecisive criterion ofácorporate competitiveness.
Iná2011, aáJoint Scientific and Research Centre for Innovation Technologies ináPetroleum Production (JSRC) was jointly established byáLLC Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre and byáSt. Petersburg State Mining University. The project was part ofáthe Consortium for Development and Implementation ofáInnovative Technologies for Hydrocarbon Production and Refining, which was created earlier. The JSRCáis centred onáeight R&D laboratories (for well-log preparation; oil and gas formation physics; rheological and filtration studies; oil and gas field development modelling; research into oil dispersal systems; research into formation petroleum filtering processes, grout and drilling fluid studies; and for analytical control, salt and paraffin deposition, and corrosion). The laboratories have the most up-to-date experimental tools and equipment. Ináaddition, LLC Gazprom Neft STC has allocated RUB 20ámn for the purchase ofáspecial equipment, laboratory furniture, and some RUB 10ámn for software. Ináthe reporting year, Gazprom Neft made investments inápriority research ináthe following areas: improving oil yield from formations and well output; research into petroleum composition and properties; solid deposits and corrosion inápetroleum production equipment; the composition and testing ofáliquids used for work area treatment; well kill; repair and insulation work; geological surveying; technology development and adaptation; and calculating the composition ofádrilling muds and grouts.
InáSeptember 2011 specialists ofáLLC Gazprom Neft STC and experts atáthe Muravlenkovskneft subsidiary ofáGazprom Neft-Noyabrskneftegaz began aáproject toácontrol water-flooding ináaátest area atáthe Sugmutskoye field ináorder toáoptimise the formation pressure system and extract hard-to-recover oil reserves inádepleted field areas. The project will take three years, but isáexpected toáprovide benefits for 10áyears and produce 62,300át ofáadditional crude oil. Additional production asáofáDecemberá1, 2011, was 1,100át ofáoil, which matches earlier estimates.
Specialists from the STC inácooperation with the UfaNIPIneft Research Institute, have developed aácomprehensive program for alkali-surfactant-polymer water-flooding and treatment ofáworking areas ináproduction wells and injection wells atáJurassic deposits which are part ofáthe Yaraynerskoye field ofáGazprom Neft-Noyabrskneftegaz. The area isácharacterized byálow filtration and capacity properties, and complex geological structure. The project should stabilise development ofáthe deposits, and produce atáleast 9,200át ofáadditional crude oil.
Iná2011, work was carried out asápart ofáGazprom Neftĺs Integrated Exploration and Research Program atá14áproduction wells atáthe Sutorminskoye field (operated byáMuravlenkovskneft), ináanáattempt toádeactivate aáformation for purposes ofátransition toáaálower horizon. Two new technologies were attemptedáŚ injection ofácompounds based onápolymers F100 and WGA111áŚ and aásuccess rate ofá93% was achieved. Daily average oil production rose byá6.5át asáaáresult. AsáofáJanuaryá1, 2012, anáadditional 6,229át ofácrude oil had been produced, and 12áwells were involved.
Work was done toáeliminate multiple gaps that compromise sealing ofáthe production string. Interval-based injection ofáaácompound that was previously used atáfields ofáGazprom Neft-Noyabrskneftegaz enabled sealing ofáall three tightness gaps ináthe production string with just one application, thereby saving 240 hours ofáwork for the well overhaul team. The work onáreactivation, sealing multiple gaps ináthe production string and hydrofracturing was rewarded byáadditional production ofá8,300át ofáoil, with the average increase ofácrude yield amounting toá29.8át/day during the effective period.
Research was carried out iná2011áas part ofáthe project entitled Monitoring ofáSalt Formation ináWell Equipment; Use and Optimisation ofáTechnologies toáPrevent Salt Formation toáfind the causes ofásolid sediment inside borehole equipment atáthe Priobskoye, Palyanovskoye and Zimneye fields (operated byáLLC Gazprom Neft-Hantos). The research also sought toáselect the most appropriate reagents and concentrations ináorder toáaddress the problem (four out ofáaápossible 16áwere selected). The four reagents are being tested ináproduction conditions during 2012. Optimizing the inhibition system toáprotect borehole equipment has already given aásaving ofáRUB 7.7ámn and aáfurther RUB 14.2ámn isáexpected toábeásaved iná2012. Borehole equipment runtime ináthe salt-rich environment increased from 313 toá382 days (22% growth); iná2013, runtime isáexpected toáreach 420 days (10% improvement). All borehole equipment has undergone salt and acid treatment. The effect ofátreatment lasts for 21ádays onáaverage, and savings ofáRUB 32.5ámn have been made.
Specialists of the STC carried out test operations in 2011 on technologies and methods to fight corrosion in underground equipment at production wells in the Urmanskoye Field of LLC Gazprom Neft-Vostok. Corrosion inhibitors for borehole equipment were tested, and used as a basis for creating a uniform measure of corrosion inhibitor efficiency for use at the fields of LLC Gazprom Neft-Vostok. The following regulatory and technical documents were prepared and applied to further extend the service life of borehole equipment, and to reduce related operating costs:
- Methodology for classifying wells as requiring special recovery techniques;
- Classifier of corrosion types in borehole equipment;
- Methodology for calculating the relative efficiency of anti-corrosion activities;
- Methodology for selecting protective measures;
- Manual on operation of pipes;
- Forms of test operation and reports on test operation;
- Regulation on preparation of well-kill fluids.
Based onáthe newly prepared documents, the plan for 2012áis toádevelop and implement software that isáintegrated with existing corrosion-related databases ináorder toácalculate and forecast the evolution ofácorrosive processes ináborehole equipment. The activities iná2011 reduced the specific rate ofácorrosion-caused failures ináoperating stock from 0.37 toá0.16.
Over the year, the permanent database onáidle wells was improved, corporate databases underwent comprehensive integration; automatic selection criteria were added for well intensification; mapping representation materials were developed toásupport decision-making; and economic analysis was expanded. The system can now build lists ofáwells ranked byátheir economic and production performance for purposes ofáreactivation; design specific interventions that are needed for well reactivation; build additional reports; select submersible equipment; and handle maps and data ináanáinteractive way. Further development ofáthe program will increase the depth and scope ofáanalysis, and add selection methodologies. The time needed toáanalyse idle wells was reduced byá15átimes after the permanent database became available for idle wells ofáJSC Gazprom Neft-Noyabrskneftegaz and the Muravlenkovskneft branch.
The Companyĺs subsidiaries and associates worked with STC specialists iná2011, conducting tests ofáperiodic brief activation mode (PBA mode) ofáthe submersible centrifugal pump unit. The result was toáincrease the service life inálow-yield and complex wells byá
INNOVATION IN PETROLEUM REFINING & PETROCHEMICAL PROCESSING
Further improvement ofápetroleum refining and petrochemical technologies isáneeded ináorder toácomply with Russian Government requirements for fuel quality, toáaddress the implications ofálevelling ofácustoms duties payable onádark and light petroleum products, toámeet demand for new petroleum refining and petrochemical products (premium-grade branded fuels, lubricants, new grades ofábitumen and coke), and toáoptimise and reduce production costs and dependence onáforeign-made catalysts and technologies.
The main goals ofáGazprom Neftĺs innovation and scientific research efforts inápetroleum refining are toámake competitive products, raise product quality, cut production costs, invent and apply new technologies, products and services, resolve current production problems, and toádevelop aáfavorable, innovative corporate image.
Iná2011, Company management approved the Strategy for Development ofáInnovation and Scientific Research ináOil Refining and Petrochemical Processing upátoá2020. The document defines the principles and key performance indicators for innovation activities inálogistics, refining and sales, asáwell asákey directions toádevelop innovative technologies inápetroleum refining and petrochemical processing: higher product quality (ináparticular, lower sulphur content and aromatics inágasoline and diesel fuels), deeper refining ofácrude oil, the development ofánew product types, higher efficiency, and aásmaller environmental footprint. The Strategy envisages annual financing ofáupátoáRUB 450ámn for R&D inápetroleum refining and petrochemical processing ináthe period toá2015. Planned investments iná2012 should exceed RUB 200ámn.
R&D inápetroleum refining and petrochemical processing isábeing carried out inápartnership with Russiaĺs major research entities, which have experience ináthe areas that Gazprom Neft regards asáits priorities. The Companyĺs partners include the Topchiyev Petrochemical Synthesis Institute, the Gubkin Oil and Gas Institute, the Institute for Problems ofáHydrocarbon Refining, JSCáNPP Neftekhim and others.
During 2011, the Companyĺs petroleum refining units implemented large long-term innovative projects toádevelop strategically important technologies, and workshoplevel R&D toámeet the production needs ofáaáspecific refinery. One large-scale innovative project iná2011, carried out jointly with the Siberian Chapter ofáthe Institute ofáHydrocarbon Refining under the Russian Academy ofáScience, was the development and production launch ofáaábiceolyte catalyst for catalytic cracking atáGazprom Neft-Omsk Refinery. Use ofáthe new catalyst helped the Omsk Refinery toáincrease its output ofálight petroleum products, achieve deeper refining, and lower sulphur content ináproducts, while also cutting production costs. Gazprom Neft isácurrently Russiaĺs only manufacturer ofáthe catalyst.
Key innovation projects scheduled for 2012 include development ofátechnologies toásynthesise fluid hydrocarbons ofánatural gas and associated gas, alkylation with aáheterogeneous catalyst, and hydroconversion ofátar oil.