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Gazprom Neft starts using augmented reality (AR) technologies in construction

Remote-control technologies for managing construction and installation works (CIW) have been successfully tested at the Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery. This new digital package, developed by Gazpromneft-Digital Solutions,* together with the company’s Digital Transformation Directorate, offers a platform for “on-site” collaboration between construction specialists and external experts, including equipment producers. An augmented-reality (AR) headset transmits audio and video signals to external experts, online, improving quality control and oversight in assembling technologically complex elements whether specialists are on-site or not, and reducing the time spent in overseeing installations. This digital solution has been deployed during construction of the crude distillation unit/vacuum distillation unit (CDU/VDU) at the Omsk Refinery — one of the key projects under the refinery’s ongoing development programme. Construction of this 8.4-million-tonne per-year complex (investment in which stands at more than RUB50 billion) is expected to be completed in 2021.

This remote-control technology was initially used in installing equipment for distillation columns at the future CDU/VDU complex. Thanks to this digital solution, specialists at the Omsk Refinery, together with the contractor, were able to consult with an engineer at the equipment supplier, online, meaning the installation of critical equipment was completed on time. The speech-controlled AR headset, and its display screen, have been developed for use in industrial environments, and under any weather conditions.

“The conditions we all work under these days are giving further impetus to the development and implementation of digital technologies — meaning hypothesis testing, answering questions on new technologies, and decisions on using these, all have to be done fast, and effectively. AR technologies mean supervision and oversight, servicing and maintenance, equipment installation and adherence to construction lead times can all be managed remotely. Gazprom Neft plans to roll-out this technology at other facilities, going forward.”
Andrey Belevtsev
Andrey Belevtsev Chief Digital Officer, Gazprom Neft
“We have been using the best digital solutions in the course of modernising the Omsk Refinery, ensuring high quality as well as employees’ safety in CIW. Both of these tasks are being successfully addressed through AR operations-control technologies, remotely. The standard to which equipment is installed today will determine the reliability and environmental friendliness of the plant’s new production facilities, in the future.”
Oleg Belyavsky
Oleg Belyavsky Director General, Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery
Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft is currently engaged in a full-scale modernisation programme at its Omsk refinery, involving cumulative investment of more than RUB300 billion. The first stage of this modernisation has involved the construction and reconstruction of key technological facilities, allowing the complete transition to the production of Euro-5 fuels, significantly improving energy efficiency and environmental friendliness in production. The implementation of the second phase of this modernisation programme is now ongoing, as a result of which the refining depth (“conversion factor”) and light product yield are expected to match the highest international standards. One of the key facilities in the second stage of this modernisation is the crude distillation unit/vacuum distillation unit (CDU/VDU). Environmental impacts will be further reduced with the commissioning of this new facility, as a result of six outdated units being decomissioned. The construction of the new complex forms part of the federal “Clean Air” initiative, part of the national “Ecology” project.

Gazpromneft-Digital Solutions is a systems integrator and software developer, and a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft.

The Gazprom Neft Digital Transformation Directorate is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of cross-functional digital-transformation programmes at Gazprom Neft, deploying cutting-edge technologies and digital products to promote greater efficiency in operational business processes throughout the entire value chain, and exploiting all opportunities offered by such technologies.