Research, Design, and Innovations

Rosneft carries out its innovative activities in accordance with the Innovative Development Program approved by the Rosneft Board of Directors.

The program is focused on the Company’s strategic goals and is based on its strategic priorities, such as efficiency, sustainable growth, transparency, social responsibility, and innovations.

The program provides for a range of activities with a focus on:

  • development and deployment of new technologies
  • development, production, and launch of new, world-class innovative products and services
  • assistance in the Company’s modernization and technological development through significant improvements of key performance indicators for operating processes
  • increasing the Company’s capitalization and competitive advantages in the global market.

R&D costs for full year 2017 totaled RUB 29.9 bln (to be confirmed).

All activities scheduled for 2017 were fully implemented.

29.9 rub bln R&D costs in 2017
Digitalized refinery control room

Target Innovative Projects

Over the reporting year, special attention was paid to the implementation of R&D results and registering intellectual property rights. As a result of target innovative projects implemented by the Company in 2017, 49 intellectual property applications were submitted.

UPSTREAM INNOVATIONS

  • A pilot free water knock-out unit with a capacity of 5 thousand cu. m per day was built, tested and commissioned on the site cluster pumping station 8 at RN-Purneftegaz’s Barsukovskoye field.
  • A set of research and testing techniques was developed to support research into the Berezovskaya suite deposits. A regional conceptual model with lithofacies characteristics was built for Upper Cretaceous deposits in Western Siberia, along with a sketch map of the area’s generation potential. For the Kharampurskoye field, well logging interpretation methodology was developed and two 1D mechanical earth models were built to evaluate hydraulic fracturing design.
  • On a series of wells at the Priobskoye field, high-speed hydraulic fracturing technology was tested based on proprietary designs for testing development technologies for argillaceous and siliceous low-permeability rocks in Upper Jurassic deposits. The tests demonstrated that accident-free use of this hydraulic fracturing technology was technologically possible.
  • A program module was developed for detecting cavernous fractured reservoirs through seismic scattered wave separation in Gaussian beam-based survey systems (2D).
  • Pilot testing was completed at Samaraneftegaz on the borehole version of a unique Russian electromagnetic probe for high-resolution logging of oil and gas wells under certain conditions such as strong reservoir compartmentalization and anisotropy of geological properties. Field calibration equipment was designed and manufactured, along with a system of electromagnetic probe data processing and interpretation, and the engineering documentation was finalized.
  • Modules for the corporate software suite RN-KIM – Hydrodynamics, Intermode, and RExLab – were designed and tested to support hydrodynamic modeling of formation systems.
  • The development of Current Recoverable Reserve Ranking software module was completed for the RN-KIN petroleum engineering toolkit. The module was successfully tested at LLC Tyumen Oil Scientific Center and LLC RN-UfaNIPIneft.
  • The development of version 1.00 of the corporate RN-GRID hydraulic fracture simulator was successfully completed. The new simulator is now piloted at Group Subsidiaries.
  • The Company developed the catalyst composition and synthesis method for obtaining synthetic hydrocarbons with high isoalkane content, as well as a method to obtain synthetic crude using the catalysts.
  • Draft specifications were finalized for synthetic crude and high isoalkane content synthetic crude that meets requirements for trunk oil pipeline transport and compatibility with oil refining technologies.

INNOVATIVE RESEARCH ON THE ARCTIC SHELF

  • Winter ice and metocean studies were conducted in the Khatanga Gulf and the adjoining area of the Laptev Sea (Khatanga-Winter 2017 expedition). The studies established the morphometric parameters of the ice cover and the internal structure of pressure ridges and stamukhi (grounded ice hummocks), ice-sheet dynamics, the physical and mechanical properties of ice, as well as weather profile and water mass conditions.
  • The Kara-Summer 2017 research expedition was organized and conducted in the Kara and Barents Seas. The expedition carried out a range of activities, most notably:
    • Maintenance services were provided for the recently installed infrastructure in the Kara Sea
    • Field experiments were conducted in diverting icebergs. A total of 18 iceberg towing experiments were conducted, including under harsh weather conditions and in sea ice with various ice consolidation ratios
    • Methods for detecting dangerous bodies of ices were tested
    • Provisional local specifications were developed for the East Prinovozemelsky license areas in the Kara Sea based on the baseline data obtained through field and desk studies conducted between 2012 and 2016
  • Within efforts to develop conceptual design solutions for extending the operating season for the Arctic shelf facilities, a conceptual design was developed for the ice protection of the jack-up rig riser. The impact of the proposed solutions in terms of extending the jack-up rig drilling season under ice conditions was also estimated.
Corporate research and design complex

Rosneft includes 27 corporate research and design institutes employing over 11 thousand scientists out of which 583 hold Ph.D. and 45 – doctoral degrees.

In 2017, the key achievements of the Corporate Research and Design Complex were as follows:

  • Over 12 thousand linear km of 2D and 10 thousand sq. km of 3D seismic data processed
  • Over 117 thousand linear km of 2D and 14 thousand sq. km of 3D onshore and offshore seismic data interpreted
  • 31 fields and 162 new deposits discovered with a total 233 mmtoe of АВ1С1+В2С2 reserves
  • 100% of Rosneft’s oil and gas production projects supported (approvals secured for 378 project design documents from the Central Development Commission of Rosnedra (Russia's Subsoil Agency))
  • Real-time geological support provided for drilling of 499 horizontal wells (30% of the total)
  • Positive opinions from Russia’s Main Directorate of State Expert Review (GlavgosExpertiza) obtained for 673 capital construction projects planned by the Company

INNOVATIONS IN REFINING AND PETROCHEMICALS

The Company used its own refinery feedstocks to successfully run independent comparative tests of IDZ-028RN isodewaxing and HG-017RN hydrofinishing catalysts produced by JSC Angarsk Catalyzers and Organic Synthesis Plant in the process of Arctic and winter diesel fuels production. Based on the positive test results, the Company is currently implementing a program to shift the flow at G-24/1 facility of Bashneft’s Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim Refinery to diesel fuel isodewaxing.

The Company finalized initial design data for:

  • a 500 tpa dearomatized liquid paraffins facility leveraging modern hydrocatalytic processes. The facility is planned to be constructed at JSC Angarsk Catalyzers and Organic Synthesis Plant’s production site
  • a 15 ktpa waxy oil base facility to offer a range of Arctic lubricants, including hydraulic oils, motor oils, and plastic lubricants. The technology is planned to be deployed for one of the flows at G-24 facility of JSC Angarsk Petrochemical Company’s Oils Plant.

Laboratory-scale technology was developed for manufacturing OMTI (Thermal Engineering Institute’s fire-resistant oil), designed for turbine lubrication and control systems at Russian nuclear facilities. Russia currently lacks facilities to produce such oils domestically due to the loss of the resource and production base. The oils are imported.

The composition and method of catalyst synthesis were developed for producing synthetic high-viscosity polyalphaolefin base oils. These oils are used as feedstock for gearbox oils and in production of high-load assemblies and mechanisms.

Hydrogenation technique to convert acetone into isopropanol was developed as a laboratory method. Hydrogenation of acetone to isopropanol is one of the easiest solutions for phenol/acetone producers in improving efficiency through shifting production to higher margin products.

Specifications and testing programs were developed for RN-RKM7 and RN-RKM10 synthetic oils for the aerospace industry. The Company demonstrated the possibility of using esters, polyalphaolefins, and synthesized mono cycloalkanes as base components for synthetic oils used in the aerospace industry. The proposed methods of sample synthesis for synthetic base components of oils were laboratory tested.

The additive package (formulation) was developed for all-season energy efficient hydraulic oils compliant with DIN 51524-3 (HVLP level). The adaption of the Russian-made thickening agent to the additive package will enable substitution for imported packages and additives currently used by the Company, as well as provide it with the competitive advantage of producing own energy-efficient HVLP hydraulic oils for industrial and mobile equipment.

Rosneft’s refineries manufacture advanced oils, lubricants, and additives

The Company successfully tested the functional properties of RN-AT1.003 multifunctional additive in the composition of commercial gasoline produced at the Syzran Refinery. The test results showed the following:

  • Using the CEC F05-A93 method with 400 ppm content, the level of detergency achieved met the requirements of the Worldwide Fuel Charter (WFC) and was at par with the imported multifunctional additive used in the gasolines produced by the Company’s refineries
  • With a content above 200 ppm, anti-corrosion activity was shown in commercial gasolines and gasolines with oxygenate additives (TAME, MTBE, or ethanol)
  • There is no adverse effect on the physicochemical properties or performance of gasoline, nor any increase in CH, CO, or NOx emissions as compared to additive-free gasoline

POLYMERIC MATERIALS

  • A new laboratory method was developed for producing ultra-lightweight polymeric proppant (microspheres) based on polydicyclopentadiene (PDCPD), and adjusted for industrial process conditions and equipment.
  • The laboratory process was upscaled, and a production process was developed for PDCPD-based ultra-lightweight polymeric proppant (microspheres). The Company optimized the method for producing polymeric proppant precursor including the polymerization phase preceded by generation of monodisperse monomer droplets. The method increases the yield of PDCPD spherical granules of the desired fraction to 76% during the polymerization phase.

Adaptation and Adoption of Advanced Technologies in 2017

As part of its efforts to adopt promising efficient technologies developed by Russian and foreign companies, the Company organized testing, adaptation, and adoption of new technologies as part of pilot test projects in 2017. During the tests, the key features of the technologies were evaluated, and feasibility studies were conducted to assess the case for, and effectiveness of, their use in the geological and technical conditions of the Company’s upstream subsidiaries. A total of 684 tests was conducted as part of pilot test projects in 2017, and 178 thousand tonnes of incremental oil production were recovered as a result.

Following the pilot test projects, 109 technologies were tested at 16 subsidiaries in 2017. The Company and relevant business units review the results and assess the economic viability of implementing the proposed new technologies, as well as prepare plans for their roll-out and implementation.

As part of the implementation program, in 2017, the Company implemented and rolled out 118 new technologies that had been previously tested as part of pilot tests and of which the economic viability had been confirmed. The scope of implementation and roll-out amounted to 6.6 thousand items, with funding totaling RUB 10,002 mln.

As part of the efforts to implement the results of Target Innovative Projects, 18 license agreements worth a total of RUB 80.7 mln were signed for the transfer of software solutions (RN-KIN, RN-KIM, and seismic modules), including to provide training to students in industry-related programs at leading Russian universities.

In 2017, the combined proven economic benefit from the results of Targeted Innovative Projects implemented over the last three years exceeded RUB 3 bln.

Implementation of Projects to Test New Technologies