Reducing the level of harmful atmospheric emissions is a key focus of Gazprom Neft’s environmental policy, with the company implementing an extensive range of environmental programmes across all areas of its operations.
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
One of today’s most urgent problems — climate change — is connected to environmental emissions of GHG. Gazprom Neft is doing its bit to address this problem with a programme to increase the productive use of associated petroleum gas (APG) produced in oil production as well as concurrently implementing several major projects in this area.
A gas turbine power plant (GTPP) was commissioned at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field in August 2016 — the northernmost mainline GTPP in Russia. In order to protect the underlying permafrost the GTPP was set on supports, with a thermo-stabilisation system set in place two metres above the ground. The GTTP has a total capacity of 84 MW.
An integrated gas treatment plant (GTP) is being prepared for launch at the Novoportovskoye field, being developed by Gazprom Neft in the Yamal Peninsula (within the Arctic Circle). This GTP is designed to process associated petroleum gas (APG) for subsequent reinjection into underground strata. At full capacity, the plant is expected to utilise more than 95 percent of the field’s APG.
The process flow for gas re-injection currently includes the gas treatment unit, comprising four 32 MW gas-compressor units, two gas disposal well clusters, and an extensive gas pipeline network. The complex also includes a dehydration unit and an automated control room, allowing round-the-clock monitoring of the equipment’s status and operating conditions.
The processed APG from the facility will also be used as fuel for the GTPP —which has a design capacity of 96 MW, with scope for this to increase to 144 MW. Once the gas treatment unit is brought into full operation, the electricity generated will be used for communal and domestic needs, as well for production facilities at the Novoportovskoye field.
A key facility in the APG-utilisation system — the Ety-Purovskaya compressor station — was commissioned near Noyabrsk in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug at the end of 2016. APG (production volumes of which will increase with growing oil production) will go through the
The Yuzhno-Priobskoye gas treatment plant (GTP) is now in operation in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, a joint venture between Gazprom and SIBUR. The plant’s capacity enables it to process 900 million cubic metres of APG every year, with the result that Gazpromneft-Khantos has been able to increase its APG utilisation to 96.5 percent.
The company is putting in place an effective APG utilisation system in the Orenburg Oblast — the eastern section of the Orenburgskoye oil and gas condensate field having, already, been connected to the Gazprom Orenburg gas processing plant (GPP) by a
A gas and power generation and transmission hub was created during 2016 — 2017, allowing APG utilisation from several Gazpromneft-Vostok assets. The Shinginskaya gas turbine power plant (GTPP), with a nominal capacity of 24 MW, was commissioned in August 2016. About 70 million cubic metres of APG per year from the Shinginskoye, Zapadno-Luginetskoye and Nizhneluginetskoye fields will be used fuel for at this electricity station. The commissioning of the electricity station has allowed APG usage at these fields to reach 95 percent.
Projects in oil refining
Gazprom Neft has implemented several major projects directed at reducing harmful atmospheric emissions as part of an extensive programme to modernise its oil refining capacity. The problem of “legacy operations” has practically been resolved at all of the company’s refineries — the wastes accumulated at various enterprises over several decades having now been liquidated.
More than 180,000 tonnes of wastes accumulated since 1938 have been disposed of and/or recycled at the Moscow Refinery over the last five years, freeing up 15 hectares of land, with new high-tech facilities — including closed-circuit waste treatment facilities — being built on the reclaimed land, resulting in the level of harmful emissions being reduced by 97 percent.
Part of the first stage of modernising the Omsk Refinery involved pumping out the contents of a pool of refinery sludge, present since the 1970s. Commissioning new treatment facilities at the plant will result in a
A further area in reducing manmade atmospheric impacts involves modernising oil-product loading and shipping systems. A1.2 million tonne per year capacity automated railcar oil-products loading facility was commissioned at the Omsk Refinery in 2018. This facility is equipped with a modern carbon filtration system, ensuring the absorption of up to 99 percent of vapour from petroleum-products and returning this to the secondary refining cycle.
Hermetic bitumen tanker filling technology has been introduced at the Moscow Refinery. Five automated precision oil-product loading facilities have been built at the YaNOS refinery between 2005 and 2016.
Gazprom Neft is implementing cutting-edge methodologies in environmental monitoring, including giving regulatory agencies and local residents access to information on the status of activities throughout its production facilities.
A comprehensive environmental monitoring scheme has been introduced at the Moscow Refinery, a central element of which includes an automated air quality monitoring (AQM) system tracking the impacts of production on the atmosphere. System sensors are installed at eight key facilities throughout the plant, with information from these transmitted to both the plant control room and regulatory state agencies. Data from this environmental monitoring system is accessible on the Moscow Refinery website as well as being displayed on a large LED screen — the “Econiformer” — installed nearby.
The “Ecoinformer” section of the Omsk Refinery website publishes air-quality data, as well as five key metrics — carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and phenol concentrations — impacting the environmental status within the plant’s sanitary protection zone.
An eco-analytical centre for ongoing environmental monitoring is in operation at the YaNOS Refinery, including two laboratories monitoring ambient air quality, sources of pollution, and waste and drinking water quality. The plant also has two mobile environmental monitoring laboratories, in addition to this.
Production of environmentally friendly fuels
As well as the immediate benefits of implementing its environmental projects, Gazprom Neft is working towards reducing environmental impacts by improving the quality of its products. A large proportion of harmful atmospheric emissions in major cities come not from industry and energy production, but from cars. In a megapolis such as Moscow, vehicles’ role here can reach 93 percent — which is about a million tonnes of emissions per year.
Gazprom Neft’s refineries have switched to producing gasoline and diesel fuels of the highest environmental standard, Euro-5, exclusively — well in advance of regulatory requirements in the Russian Federation. Euro-5 fuels are distinguished by their high level of purity, and their extremely low pollutant content — including their sulphur and benzene (coal naptha) content.
The Omsk Refinery began production of a new improved environmentally friendly marine fuel in 2017. Thanks to its minimal sulphur content — of less than 0.1 percent — this product is suitable for use in MARPOL-controlled emissions zones (the MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) and is certified as being fully compliant with technical regulations imposed by the European Commission.