Gazpromneft-Lubricants, operator of the Gazprom Neft lubricants business, has become the first company in Russia to start producing oils for the production of drilling fluids using its own technology. The range includes four import substitutes under the Gazpromneft Drilline brand name, with total production volumes of up to 5,000 tonnes per year. Implementing this project has allowed Gazprom Neft to almost completely eliminate the use of imported base oils in the drilling-fluid processing chain, as well as reducing expenditure on this raw material by 30 percent.
Specialist oils are the main component of oil-based drilling fluids,* most commonly used in constructing high-tech wells under complex geological conditions. The proportion of base oils in the composition of a hydrocarbon-based drilling fluid ranges from 70 to 90 percent.
The development of drilling fluids based around the company’s own oils has been undertaken by Gazpromneft-Lubricants together with specialists from the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, supported by the Russian State Gubkin University of Oil and Gas. Special low-viscosity base oils are produced at the Slavneft-YANOS refinery (part of OAO NGK Slavneft, in which Gazprom Neft has an interest of approximately 50 percent). Specialists from the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre undertook analysis of competitive internation
Levan Kadagidze, Head of the Commercial Directorate at Gazprom Neft, commented: “Gazprom Neft’s lubricants business today holds a leading position in Russia in terms of product quality, and in the cutting-edge technologies used in production. Achieving these results has been made possible by putting in place modern infrastructure, constantly developing and improving approaches to production, close engagement with customers, and by building up unique market expertise and scientific capabilities. The development and application of our own technologies to produce oils whose quality in no way falls short of international competitors is a serious step, which will enable us to achieve the business’s long-term strategic goal of assuming a prominent position among the world’s leading lubricants manufacturers.”
Mars Khasanov, Head of Gazprom Neft’s Technology Directorate, commented: “One of the Science and Technology Centre’s key tasks is finding, developing and implementing those technologies and resources that increase the economic efficiency of the company. Through our own developments we are successfully replacing not only imported competitive technologies and IT products, but also drilling fluid components. This is important, not just because it allows us to be less dependent on foreign supplies, but also, and as a priority — we are developing our own technologies.”
* Drilling fluid is a complex multicomponent mixture used for borehole washing (well cleanout) during drilling. It allows the well to be cleaned of rock fragments during drilling, offsets reservoir pressure, cools and lubricates the drill bit, ensures a good quality of drilling-in, etc. The selection of drilling fluids is always undertaken for each well individually, depending on the geological structure of the formation, as well as its physical and chemical properties.
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