A major industry conference, “On the Horizon: Oil Refining 2030 — the Digital Refinery”, organised by Gazprom Neft in partnership with leading technology companies WIPRO, Honeywell, and SAP, recently took place in St Petersburg. The conference also included participation from representatives of Rosneft and LUKoil, as well as, Yokogawa, General Electrics, IBM, AspenTech, Navgeokom, GetNet, Dynamics Scientific and Production Centre, and others.
The conference programme included presentations from representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Internet Development Foundation, Gazprom Neft, and various partnering companies. Delegates discussed the outlook for innovation and development in the refining industry, issues relating to the establishment of “digital refineries” — i.e., integrated information systems and modelling programmes, the outlook for the application of “cloud” technologies in managing commercial production, and other trends of immediate interest in the development of refining technology.
Gazprom Neft representatives and specialists attending the conference noted the company’s commitment to improving efficiency in operating processes, improving refineries’ operational availability, reducing operating costs, and moving towards greater automation in production. On that basis, a major automation programme initiated in 2015 has seen a unique monitoring and system-diagnostic centre established at the company’s Omsk oil refinery — thus far unparalleled in Russia. This will allow the online monitoring of operational integrity and the prevention of potential failures in the plant’s automation systems, at all levels — from field instruments and refining process control systems to advanced management and virtual analysis systems, and signalling control tools. The centre also allows the operation of fire-systems to be monitored, as well as video surveillance and technological monitoring of the plant’s production facilities. Other initiatives under the automation programme include the development of the Gazprom Neft “Technopark” in Omsk last year, intended to act as a centre for Russian developments in industrial automation to be subsequently implemented throughout the company’s enterprises.
Pyotr Degtyaryev, Head of the Gazprom Neft Refining Directorate, commented: “Technological development at Gazprom Neft is focused on improving efficiency in production processes, and introducing greater automation. Driven by that principle, we are closely focused on long-term opportunities for the application of various technologies and are committed to implementing best practice in production management and control. This conference has given us a clear insight into what technologies are likely to determine the future development of the industry, to evaluate the latest developments and innovative software products, and to identify and forecast trends in the development of our own oil refining assets in the long term.”