Gazprom Neft has entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) at this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The agreement was signed by Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev and MIPT Rector Nikolay Kudryavtsev. The objective of this collaboration is to improve efficiency in developing oil and gas fields through the implementation of new technologies and solutions in oil and gas engineering, as well as through training highly qualified personnel, focussed on addressing the current challenges faced by oil and gas companies.
One area of focus will centre on joint participation in innovative activities — the resolution of current challenges in oil and gas engineering being the main function of the MIPT’s research and development (R&D) division, the Centre for Engineering and Technology for Hard -to-recover Reserves. Gazprom Neft, in turn, will provide the MIPT with specialist support, as well as making available production facilities for the pilot testing of technologies developed by the Engineering Centre.
In spring 2017, as part of a major project for the full-scale investigation of the Bazhenov Formation*, Gazprom Neft, the MIPT Centre for Engineering and Technology (as project leader) and other members of a technological consortium** completed their development of a range of new technologies for and approaches to the commercial development of the Bazhenov Formation including, in particular, the establishment of a unique IT complex for optimising multi-stage fracking technologies in unconventional reserves. Throughout 2017 — 2020 Gazprom Neft will be combining forces with the MIPT in applying a machine learning algorithm in new software to input hard evidence obtained in the course of building and commissioning more than 50 horizontal multi-stage fracking wells. The two organisations expect to undertake multistage fracking operations at the Bazhenov project as early as 2017.
In May 2017 an initiative by Gazprom Neft to create domestic technologies for developing the Bazhenov Formation (with partners including the MIPT) was awarded the status of a national project — the core objective here being the development of at least 15 individual technologies (including equipment and software suites) for developing the Bazhenov Formation.
Under the framework of the signed agreement, fields owned by Gazprom Neft will be used for practical training by students at the MIPT studying under a masters programme in oil and gas engineering. Gazprom Neft specialists are expected to be involved in developing and implementing educational programmes, in line with business needs. A coordinating committee, including company representatives and MIPT staff, will be put in place in order to engage the MIPT’s research and development facilities and potential in addressing current objectives.
Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev commented: “Gazprom Neft is successfully developing collaboration with the MIPT as part of an extensive project on investigating the Bazhenov Formation. As part of a technological consortium, we have been able to develop several new technologies and approaches to the commercial development of unconventional reserves. I have no doubt that signing this Cooperation Agreement will not only give further impetus to this project, but will also open up a new chapter in modernising higher professional education, directed at training those specialists the business needs, and with the knowledge needed to address the most urgent challenges facing the industry.”
MIPT Rector Nikolay Kudryavtsev added: “Gazprom Neft is becoming an anchor-business partner to MIPT. The signing today’s Cooperation Agreement formalises the various pre-existing joint projects currently being developed through the work of the MIPT’s Engineering Centre. This partnership is not limited to collaboration in research and development, but is, rather, about training specialists in oil production, for which a specialist faculty will be established at the MIPT. If we’re talking about the future, we are pinning our hopes on collaboration with the leading company in Russia’s oil and gas industry, particularly in commencing the MIPT’s active R&D operations in developing the northern territories of the Arctic, with its inherent problems in oil and gas production and transportation. In the light of this, our two organisations have considerable potential for collaboration, in the future.”
The Bazhenov Formation comprises poorly researched deposits, potentially holding as much as 100 — 170 billion tonnes of oil. Distinguished by their complex geological structure, appropriate production technologies are only now being developed.
* The Gazprom Neft Science and Research Centre, as industrial partner, joined the Federal Program for the Comprehensive Study of the Bazhenov Formation to engage in the further assessment of its characteristics and the selection of potential technologies. The project Is based within the Engineering Center of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), the latter having won a competitive tender held by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for the selection of scientific developments of national importance as part of the Federal Target Programme for “Research and Development on Priority Directions of the Scientific and Technological Complex of the Russian Federation,
** The lead contractor on the project is the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), represented by its Center for Engineering and Technology for Hard-to-recover Reserves, one of whose responsibilities includes coordinating the work of the consortium, which comprises, in addition to MIPT, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Lomonosov Moscow State University, and the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. The industrial partner on the project is Gazprom Neft, which has provided financial support for the project (extra-budgetary funding), as well as providing field data and materials for research, together with specialist support to the work of the consortium, in addition to conducting validation and practical implementation of results obtained.