25 November 2019 — Gazprom Neft Chairman of the Management Board Alexander Dyukov, St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, and CEO of the Agency of Technological Development independent non-profit organisation Sergey Zinchenko have signed a Cooperation Agreement on technological development in the energy sector.
The document envisages the parties working together on attracting engineering departments at the city’s industrial and energy companies into the city, as well as supporting the establishment of local technology start-ups and project teams, making possible the localisation of multiple orders on R&D and engineering projects in energy — something that attracts almost RUB100 billion a year in investments throughout Russia, but only 10 percent of which currently reaches businesses in the country’s “Northern Capital.”
St Petersburg has a high concentration of leading universities, design bureaux and high-tech enterprises for implementing a megaproject of this kind, all ready to take on board the job of addressing the technological challenges facing the energy sector. Russia’s largest oil and gas companies, moreover — which produce 50 percent of the country’s total hydrocarbons, and which are driving demand for new technologies —are already resident in the city.
St Petersburg also has another major advantage in its unique geographic location — bordering Europe, with access to a major waterway and a modern airport and seaport.
The possibility of establishing Russia’s first test site for offshore production equipment is also being considered as part of developing a technology hub in St Petersburg — similar European initiatives having been implemented in Stavanger (Norway) and Aberdeen (Scotland). Gazprom Neft has a keen interest in a testing ground of this kind being established in Russia to trial-run technical solutions the company might then use in implementing offshore projects. Negotiations on involving other energy companies in the project are ongoing.
«Houston’s experience in the USA, and Stavanger’s in Norway, show that concentrating multiple companies involved in R&D in the energy sector within a single city delivers a noticeable synergistic effect within the economy, as well as within the social environment. We are delighted St Petersburg wants to become a lynchpin for engineers, developers and scientists — from all over the country — working in energy. We are keen to help in implementing such an idea, facilitating high and consistent demand for new research and development, and developing an encompassing ecosystem of small and medium-sized businesses working on solving complex technological challenges».Alexander Dyukov CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft
«There is huge potential for developing the oil- and gas-production and energy industries — even in terms of the global market — concentrated in St Petersburg. Added to which, our city is a recognised centre for integrated discovery and development in the Russian Arctic. Importantly, this agreement concerns numerous educational programmes, and will give major impetus to education».Alexander Beglov Governor of St Petersburg
«The Agency of Technological Development sees the creation of a modern technological ecosystem in St Petersburg, in which the knowledge and experience of Russia’s energy sector can be concentrated, as a timely — and necessary — initiative. It will help solve the problems of import substitution, modernisation, and the country’s technological leadership better, and faster. We support this initiative on the part of the city, together with Gazprom Neft, and are keen to become actively involved, as well as acting as a link between the oil and gas industry’s needs and our industry’s capabilities».Sergey Zinchenko CEO of the Agency of Technological Development independent non-profit organisation
A council under the St Petersburg Administration will be responsible for preparing and pursing a road map as part of the agreement, the objectives of which will be to bring together the efforts and resources of local government, business and the scientific community in stimulating innovative technological developments and implementing national projects in workplace productivity, personnel development and developing the country’s export potential.
The Agency for Technological Development will be responsible for coordinating the project, consistent with current policy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.