Gazprom Neft and the Skolkovo Foundation are to establish the company’s research and development hub within the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, Moscow, under an agreement signed by Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov and Skolkovo Foundation President Viktor Vekselberg at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. More than RUB180 million will be invested in the centre by 2019, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
The Gazprom Neft Research and Development Centre at Skolkovo will be involved in developing and implementing software for the automation of business processes in the oil and gas industry. Research activities will focus on the development of innovative energy-efficiency and strategic computer technologies to improve efficiency in key areas of activity for oil companies. This new unit will form part of an existing Gazprom Neft subsidiary, Information and Technology Service Company LLC.
This agreement marks the latest stage in an ongoing partnership between Gazprom Neft and the Skolkovo Foundation, directed at developing Russian technologies for improving efficiency in the exploration, production and refining of oil and gas, with both parties having signed an initial cooperation agreement during the 2015 St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov commented: “IT plays a major role in improving business efficiency, particularly if one is talking about major, multi-disciplinary oil and gas companies. By continuing to implement a range of IT initiatives to automate key processes in oil production and refining, and by investing resources in the development of our own proprietary programmes, as well as their implementation and subsequent commercialisation, we expect to occupy a leading position among Russian oil and gas companies in terms of utilising cutting-edge technologies”.
Viktor Vekselberg, President, Skolkovo Foundation, added: “This is an extremely important event for us — signing an agreement to open an R&D centre at Skolkovo with one of Russia’s most important corporations. In cooperation with Gazprom Neft we will be addressing one of the most urgent issues facing Russia currently — the development of domestic technologies for the energy industry. I have every confidence that, by getting involved in the research and development activities undertaken by our industry partner, start-ups at Skolkovo will not only make a major contribution to addressing that problem, but also gain invaluable experience.”