Experts Discuss Creation of Field Testing Sites for Oil and Natural Gas Production

15 march 2016

The roundtable on “Testing of innovative technologies for extraction and processing of oil and natural gas using dedicated field testing sites”, during which experts discussed the criteria for the public-private partnership model that could be employed to create field testing sites for oil and natural gas production in Russia and to design new domestic petrochemical and NG products, was held at the Analytical Center.

Ilshat Valiullin, President of “SK RusGasEngineering” (JSC), talked about the key challenges faced by field testing sites. In his opinion, the challenges include lack of a formal definition, a concept and a legal status, delays with the issuance of licenses and the fact that companies often share one license. “We need to prioritize projects depending on demand and market conditions, figuring out what roles must be played by the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for Subsoil Usage, “Rusgeology” (JSC), regional executive authorities and users of the natural resources. It is also important that we legitimize test results as at the moment they cannot serve as grounds for product certification,” he said. According to the specialist, CAPEX to build a testing site cannot be financed only by companies that are potentially interested in using it. A financing mechanism must be put in place and sources of financing must be provided, Mr. Valiullin believes.

In other countries, testing sites are independent from private companies that use them and are controlled by state agencies in the US or by the Oil Directorate in Norway, the expert referred to global practices. “They do not create testing sites in new fields there. As a rule they build a new testing site on a worked-out deposit that already has legitimate characteristics recorded,” Mr. Valiullin said. - “Those sites are then used to create new production standards and to define new technical requirements for materials and equipment.”

The Head of the Innovative Research Sector at “VNIPIneft” (OJSC) Elena Chernysheva talked about the concept of a center for shared use of testing sites for independent trials and expert assessment of basic industrial catalysts in oil processing and petrochemical industry. “We suggest creating a center like this by utilizing the knowledge potential and competencies of all the Russian organizations involved in the development, assessment, design, pilot testing, production and use of catalysts and technologies that utilize them,” the expert explained. Over the next 3-5 years these organizations working in close cooperation with federal executive authorities will develop a mechanism for how the center will operate to make recommendations for what to do next, Ms. Chernysheva noted.

Participants in the round table included representatives of federal and regional executive authorities, oil, NG and engineering companies, expert organizations and the academic community.