Research, Design, and Innovations

Research and Innovations

Rosneft carries out its innovative activities in accordance with the Innovative Development Program approved by the Company’s 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 in key performance indicators for operating processes;
  • increasing the Company’s capitalization and competitive advantages in the global market.

In 2018, to confirm the justified selection of focus areas and KPI targets for the Company’s innovative development, the technological development level and the Program KPIs were compared with the same KPIs of the leading peer companies.

Target Innovative Projects


R&D costs in 2018 amounted to RUB 32.1 bln.

57 applications for obtaining security documents were submitted by the Company in 2018

Over the reporting year, comprehensive works were executed for the implementation of R&D results and registering intellectual property rights. Following the results of innovation activities in 2018, the Company filed 57 applications for obtaining security documents.

Target Innovative Projects

Key Project Results Achieved in 2018


Разведка и добыча
  • Positive results were obtained when testing the low-permeability reservoir production technology based on horizontal producing and injection wells with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing at a pilot site of the Prirazlomnoye field. Development elements involving horizontal wells as injection ones (HW for reservoir pressure maintenance) proved to be effective:
    • the average specific injectivity index of horizontal wells was three times higher than that of vertical wells;
    • the fluid flow rate decline in the pilot wells (HW for reservoir pressure maintenance) was above the basic engineering technology.
  • Based on the testing results, the technology was rolled out at LLC RN-Yugansneftegaz, involving 77 wells (41 producing wells and 36 injection wells).
  • At the Priobskoye field, testing of high-speed hydraulic fracturing technology was continued 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.
  • Approaches to the localization of potentially productive zones in argillaceous and siliceous low-permeability rocks of Upper Jurassic deposits were developed. Exploitability categories of these deposits were mapped, and LLC RN-Yuganskneftegaz planned the horizontal drilling with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, accordingly.
  • An integrated solution on decontamination and disposal of petroleum-contaminated soil with a high content of natural radionuclides was developed. Design inputs for a pilot production plant for technology testing were prepared.
  • Rosneft developed procedures and technologies of the survey, localization, and development of reserves, as well as the assessment of potential resources at the Berezovskaya suite deposits. While implementing the project, the Company booked significant В1В2 gas reserves in 2018.
  • Technologies of structure remodeling and prediction of oil and gas occurrence in paleobasins were developed to improve the exploration efficiency and build up the Company’s resource base.
  • A technology was developed for the integration of multi-scale studies to research deposits of the Jurassic high-carbon formation (Bazhenov suite) of the Tomsk-Tyumen zone, Western Siberia. Maps of relative density distribution of formed hydrocarbon compounds were constructed.
  • The Company developed the design documentation for a mobile modular unit of early initial water separation and electricity generation from the separated APG. This unit reduces the time period for putting the field on production and obtaining commercial products and minimizes the risk of unreasonable expenses for capital construction facilities.

Science-Intensive Technological Software

Science-Intensive Technological Software
  • RN-GRID software package designed by the Company, the first industrial hydraulic fracturing simulator in Eurasia, was brought into commercial production. The Company has become the first in Russia to phase out the import hydraulic fracturing simulation software. The simulator makes all calculations required for the hydraulic fracturing design and analysis. In 2018, RN-GRID software was used to conduct over 4 thousand hydraulic fracturing operations with the complete design cycle.
  • The corporate RN-SIGMA software suite for industrial use was designed for the geomechanical modeling of the bore hole stability during drilling. The designed software suite allows mitigating the risks of drilling troubles. The software suite is undergoing pilot testing at the Company’s Subsidiaries.
  • RN-KIM hydrodynamic simulator software modules were developed to examine geological and hydrodynamic models, to model hysteresis of relative permeability and capillary forces, to simulate horizontal multilateral and multihole wells. In 2018, 67% hydrodynamic models were generated in RN-KIM, the software solution is handed over to the industry-related departments at the leading universities for training the Company’s specialists. According to the results of the project, the own simulator will not only cover 80–90% of the Company’s need for hydrodynamic modeling, but also allow the active use of artificial intelligence technologies for field development planning.
  • The geological modeling software modules of RN-Geosim software suite were designed to ensure task flow control, well logging data visualization and processing, 2D and 3D visualization of geological features, and structural surfaces design. Based on the project results, RN-Geosim software suite will satisfy 80% of the Company’s demand for hydrodynamic modeling.
  • The process modeling software modules of RN-Simtep software suite were designed for calculation of physical and chemical properties, the pipelines network, and surface infrastructure facilities. According to the project results, RN-Simtep will satisfy up to 80% of the Company’s demand for production process modeling. The software is planned to be further developed to fit the oil refinery and petrochemicals areas.
  • A prototype intelligent management system of Company’s standard design system was developed for collecting, storing and using the documentation in the preparation of the Company’s design specifications, design and procurement activities.

Arctic Shelf

Arctic Shelf
  • The Kara-Summer 2018 research expedition was organized and conducted in the Kara and Laptev Seas. The obtained research results will be used to design facilities and to perform operations in the Company’s license areas on the Arctic shelf. During the expedition, the recently installed measuring infrastructure facilities were maintained.
  • The meteorological surveys were conducted in the area of the Khastyr temporary field base (the Khatanga Bay, the Laptev Sea) during the summer and autumn 2018. The data collected in course of the meteorological and actinometric observations will be also used to forecast the ice evolution in the Khatanga Bay depending on the thermodynamic conditions.
  • The wellhead and wellhead setup winterization methods were studied during a two-year cycle of exploration drilling on the Arctic shelf for Ragozinskaya-1 and Ragozinskaya-2 sites, the Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky-2 license area in the Kara Sea. Conceptual solutions were developed for protective structures that provide shelter for wellhead setup from dangerous ice formations under various geotechnical conditions.
  • As part of the research work «Comprehensive Study of International Legal Problems of the Development of Hydrocarbon Resources in the Arctic», the international legal regime of oil and gas development on the continental shelf was studied and proposals were made to amend the current legislation of the Russian Federation accordingly.

Associated Petroleum Gas Monetization Technology

Associated Petroleum Gas Monetization Technology
  • Design inputs for GTL-1.5 pilot production plant were prepared.
  • A sample of synthetic crude oil with higher isoalkane content was generated to investigate the impact of synthetic crude oil on qualitative parameters of commercial oil products.

Oil Refining and Petrochemicals

Oil Refining and Petrochemicals
  • The design inputs and basic design of the pilot production plant for manufacturing synthetic high-viscosity polyalphaolefin base oils were drafted. These oils are used as feedstock for gearbox oils and oils for high-load assemblies and mechanisms.
  • The design inputs for industrial production of the third-generation fire-resistant oil used in high-power turbines, including nuclear power plants installations, were completed. Technical and regulatory documentation to produce the fire-resistant oil test batch was prepared: specifications, industry standards, and quality certificates for target and intermediate products.
  • Design inputs for a pilot production plant of isopropyl alcohol by hydrogenation of acetone using a proprietary technology were drafted.
  • Technologies for producing own line of reagents for oilfield chemistry, including corrosion inhibitors, salting inhibitors, inhibitors/solvents for asphalt, resin and paraffin deposits, hydrate inhibitor/solvents, and mutual solvent, were developed.
  • The composition and method of obtaining depressant-dispersant additives for diesel fuels, with the advantage of bifunctionality - a combination of depressant-dispersant and anti-wear properties were elaborated
  • The performances were confirmed by independent testing at the Company’s refineries.
  • A pilot batch of Ht-100RN diesel fuel hydrotreating catalyst was produced and loaded into one of the diesel fuel hydrotreating units of the Company’s refinery. The catalyst was developed by LLC RN-TsIR to obtain winter and arctic diesel fuel with sulphur content of 7 ppm maximum.
  • The preparation technology of the catalyst for hydrotreating the mixture of straight run diesel and secondary process diesel fractions was developed and issued as specifications and process manuals to prepare the catalyst test batch.
  • A technology was developed to prepare the synthetic component of RN-RKM-7, RN-RKM-10 oil bases for the aerospace industry.
  • The Russian-made Mixoil V4-38 thickening agent was selected and adapted for the additive package for all-season energy efficient hydraulic oils of HVLP level. Test batches of the additive package and all-season energy efficient hydraulic oils were produced according to the technologies developed.

Polymeric Materials for Oil Production

Polymeric Materials for Oil Production
  • A test batch of ultra-lightweight polymeric proppant based on polydicyclopentadiene (PDCPD) was generated. At the end of 2018, the first stage of the pilot project was delivered, including the low-capacity hydraulic fracturing operations with the use of proppant at three wells of the Samotlor field. The hydraulic fracturing performed proved that the proppant could be injected to the formation without any technical problems. Utilization of PDCPD proppant in the Company’s operations will efficiently develop previously unprofitable, and thus, undeveloped hydrocarbon deposits.

Corporate Research and Design Complex

Rosneft includes 29 corporate research and design institutes employing over 13.5 thousand highly qualified specialists, about 5% of them holding ScD and PhD degrees. Specialized institutes were established on the basis of the corporate research and design institutes that have become competence centers in focused and difficult activity areas.

100% of Rosneft’s oil and gas production projects were supported as part of the Corporate Research And Design Complex operation. Starting this year, 361 project design documents for field development (including those related to the Company’s key fields - Russkoye, Suzunskoye, Verkhnechonskoye, Kuyumbinskoye, Kharampur, and Northern tip of the Chaivo field) were developed and approved by the Central Development Commission of the Federal Agency for Subsurface Use of Russia (Central Development Commission of Rosnedra).

Adaptation and Adoption of Advanced Technologies in 2018

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 2018. 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 producing subsidiaries.

In 2018, 20 Group Subsidiaries tested 149 technologies. A total of 721 tests was conducted as part of pilot test projects, and 119 thousand tonnes of incremental oil production were recovered as a result. 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, the Company implemented and rolled out 92 new technologies that had been previously tested as part of the pilot tests and of which the economic viability had been confirmed. The scope of implementation and roll-out amounted to 3.9 thousand items, with funding totaling RUB 1,889 mln.

Implementation of Projects for New Technologies Testing
Activity Quantity, pcs Total incremental oil production, thousand tonnes Total economic benefit, RUB mln
Testing of new technologies 149 119 905
Implementation of tested technologies 92 552 5,898

As part of the efforts to implement the results of Target Innovative Projects, 10 license agreements worth a total of RUB 66.8 mln were signed for the transfer of software solutions (RN-KIM, RN-GRID, Gorizont+, technology of synthetic high-index low-cold-test base oils, technology for detection of cavernous fractured reservoirs and their parameters specification by the innovative methods of scattered wave processing and interpretation), including to train students in industry-related programs at leading Russian universities.

In 2018, the combined proven economic benefit from the results of Targeted Innovative Projects implemented over the last three years exceeded RUB 21 bln.

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