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R&D activities in refining technologies presented to the Gazprom Neft board

Gazprom Neft’s strategic objective to 2030 is to become the benchmark in safety, efficiency and technological advancement for other companies worldwide. The company’s strategy outlines key performance indicators in oil refining, achieving which will allow the company to further consolidate its position as one of the industry’s technological leaders. Such KPIs include achieving a conversion rate of at least 95 percent, a light product yield of at least 80 percent, and a market share in the Russian catalysts market of 70 percent. To that end the company is implementing an oil-refining R&D programme focussed on two key areas: developing catalyst production technologies; and developing technologies in refining and petrochemicals.

Gazprom Neft currently holds 115 patents for developments in oil refining, petrochemicals and catalyst production, 45 of which are already in production, with the remaining solutions being prepared for commercial implementation. Work on creating and developing such technologies is being undertaken in partnership with leading scientific organisations in Russia, including the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (a member of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS), the Boreskov Institute’s New Federal Research Centre, the St Petersburg State Institute of Technology, Samara Polytech, and others.

One outcome of Gazprom Neft’s catalyst-production R&D programme has been a range of unique oil refining catalysts for producing high-tech motor fuels being brought into production. Gazprom Neft’s high-efficiency cat-cracking catalysts have been shown to outperform imported alternatives. An oligomerization catalyst developed by the company has been successfully put into operation at its Moscow Refinery, increasing the oligomerizate (an automotive fuel component) yield by 30 percent, and increasing catalyst regeneration runs 2.5-fold. The company has also introduced an innovative technology for reactivating diesel fuel hydrotreatment catalysts, with 100-percent regeneration of spent diesel-fuel hydrotreatment catalysts being confirmed at the Omsk Refinery.

A significant part of Gazprom Neft’s R&D programme also includes projects on developing (and improving efficiency in) oil refining and petrochemicals technologies, with the company successfully bench-testing the “aeroforming” process — the processing of low-octane fractions into a high-octane gasoline component — in 2019. Processing of source data on designing an aeroforming facility, and the economic viability of this being integrated into company assets, is currently ongoing. Gazprom Neft is continuing its implementation of a project to develop domestic needle coke technology — a product used in manufacturing ultra-reliable graphite electrodes, used in the metallurgy industry. The company is also actively working on developing processes to facilitate the processing of heavy raw materials — such as tar, asphalt or pyrolysis resins — into high-quality marine fuels meeting MARPOL 2020 standards, or raw materials for hydrocracking and cat-cracking facilities.

Gazprom Neft now has in place an effective system for creating and utilising practical solutions directed at developing catalytic systems and refining technologies, and expanding the company’s product range. The company will continue ongoing work on patenting new, high-efficiency products and technologies, and developing subsequent commercial applications for these.
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