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Gazprom Neft and Gazprom Burenie to support the development of Russia’s first oil- and gas-well drilling robot

Gazprom Neft and Gazprom Burenie have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create Russia’s first robotised drilling unit. This digital drilling rig is expected to be used in building oil and gas wells at onshore and offshore fields, in the future.

The document was signed by Vadim Yakovlev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Management Board and Damir Valeev, CEO, Gazprom Burenie LLC, during the 10th Petersburg International Gas Forum, with the partners agreeing on long-term technical cooperation in developing and testing innovative solutions for robotising drilling processes. Any products developed will be used to modernise existing equipment, as well as being deployed on new drilling rigs.

The prototype for the robotised drilling unit was developed as part of the Petersburg EnergyHUB project, and involved Gazprom Neft, Uralmash NGO Holding LLC, Yandex.Cloud and Bitrobotics.

The drilling robot has been developed with the intention of reducing lead-times as well as capital and operating costs in hydrocarbon production. Digitalising drilling processes will also improve industrial safety by eliminating manual labour and minimising human involvement in mechanised operations.

The Memorandum of Cooperation envisages Gapzrom Neft and Gazprom Burenie working together on producing technological products for improving efficiency in oil and gas production.

“We use Industry 4.0 tools across all stages of production — from finding deposits and building infrastructure to operating fields. Developing a Russian robotic drilling unit will not only significantly reduce lead-times in such an expensive operation as well construction, but will also improve safety in these operations — an overriding priority for us. Digitalising and automating exploration and production processes is, today, the key to complex assets and is a crucial tool in managing the viability of oil and gas projects. So we are keen to work together with our partners in developing new and effective solutions.”
Vadim Yakovlev
Vadim Yakovlev Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Management Board
“Using artificial intelligence (AI) systems makes it possible to tangibly increase efficiency in developing hard-to-recover reserves and building complex high-tech wells. We are keen to get involved in the process of robotising run-in-hole (tripping) operations in building oil and gas wells, and this process will create reliable groundwork for modernising the current operational rig fleet and help improve quality in drilling services.”
Dmitry Valeev
Dmitry Valeev CEO, Gazprom Burenie
Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft is a vertically integrated oil company, primarily engaged in the exploration and development of oil and gas fields, oil refining, and the production and sale of petroleum products. Gazprom Neft is one of the Russian oil industry’s market leaders in terms of efficiency. Gazprom Neft’s largest shareholder is Gazprom PJSC, which holds a 95.68% interest. The remaining shares are in free circulation.

Gazprom Burenie (Drilling) LLC is the largest drilling company in Russia, successfully implementing split-service and general (turnkey) well-construction contracts, managing projects, and offering a full range of oilfield services covering the entire well-construction cycle — including all capital construction works, drilling, development and well testing, and onshore and offshore process engineering — throughout the Russian Federation.