All oil and gas companies working in inaccessible areas come up against the problem of having to install their own energy infrastructure. In using cutting-edge technologies in electricity generation Gazprom Neft is not only improving energy efficiency but also reducing environmental impacts and increasing its effective utilisation of associated petroleum gas (APG) and renewable energy sources.
Gazprom Neft is involved in field development in remote, undeveloped regions, completely lacking any utilities infrastructure. Under such conditions the question of supplying power to field assets becomes imperative — the key response to which lies in the construction of gas-turbine power plants (GTPPs), thus also addressing the question of effective APG utilisation, used as fuel in independent power generation.
A 84 MW-capacity GTPP was launched at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye oil and gas condensate field in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in September 2016 — the northernmost onshore GTPP in Russia. In order to protect the underlying permafrost the GTPP — which has a total weight of 1,500 tonnes — has been set on supports, with a thermo-stabilisation system set in place two metres above the ground.
Gazprom Neft is also building the biggest GTPP in the Yamal Peninsula, at its Novoportovskoye field. Total installed capacity at this energy complex stands at 96 MW
In the Balkans, where production volumes are not as high as at Siberian fields, Gazprom Neft’s Serbian subsidiary, NIS, is installing small co-generation plants which operate on the principle of converting wellhead gas into heat and power. Thirteen such electricity stations are already in operation.
In order to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to its biggest refinery, NIS, together with Gazprom Energoholding, is building its own 140 MW combined heat and power (CHP) facility in Pančevo. This is the first combined-cycle facility to be built in Serbia equipped with both steam-power and gas turbine units.
In a gas turbine facility the end-product of fuel combustion turns the turbine, which is located on the same shaft as the generator producing the electricity current. The remaining energy is heating the steam, rotating the steam turbine, which has a second generator attached.
Construction of a combined-cycle CHP plant is a more effective solution since it also has a noticeable environmental benefit in reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, greenhouse gas emissions.
Serbia has become a genuine proving ground for Gazprom Neft in terms of the development of renewable energy technologies. Together with Energowind, NIS is implementing a project for the construction of a windfarm in Plandište (Serbia), involving the installation of 34 wind turbines, which will produce 240 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.
A further area of focus concerns geothermal energy, whereby electricity is generated by steam turbines powered by energy derived from high-temperature underground reservoirs.
NIS already has several successful projects in this area, and in October 2016 signed an agreement with Singapore’s Betec on the joint development of active geothermal zones in northern Serbia.
Using alternative energy sources can be effective, even at remote fields. In 2017 Gazprom Neft began pilot testing its 47.5 MW-capacity “Yurta” combined wind and solar electricity plant, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, designed to supply electricity to a local transmission station. Hybrid technologies are making possible significant cost reductions in supplying electricity to remote facilities some distance from network infrastructure, by eliminating the need to install transmission lines.