Gazprom’s Science and Technology Prize

Every year, Gazprom holds a competition for the Science and Technology Prize. The Prize aims to recognize ambitious solutions in production, transportation, storage, processing and utilization of natural gas, gas condensate and oil, on the basis of which new machinery, equipment, instruments and materials were created or improved and, what is most important, effectively applied.

The results of the competition are reviewed and approved at the meetings of the Gazprom Management Committee. Each Prize winner receives a monetary award, a winner’s certificate, and a winner’s medal with an authenticity card. A winner’s certificate is also awarded to the nominating company of the prize-winning project. The authors of the top-winning submission are given special certificates and medals, and their company is presented with a special trophy in addition to the top-winners’ certificate. Gazprom awards a maximum of ten Prizes per year.

All subsidiaries of Gazprom are welcome to make their submissions for the Prize from March 1 through April 30 of the respective year. The preparatory activities and the competition process are coordinated by Department 623 of Gazprom.

Prize winners

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N. Kislenko (supervisor of the work, NIIgazeconomika), V. Kulik, Yu. Litvin (NIIgazeconomika), A. Ivannikov, O. Kmet’, I. Sorokin, D. Khabibullin, R. Shchekalev (Gazprom), S. Nersesov (Gazprom Dobycha Nadym), R. Sharafutdinov (Gazprom Nedra) for work:

Creating and implementing innovative analytics software tools for the assessment, shaping and effective management of geological exploration projects and portfolios at the licensed areas of the Gazprom Group.

Nominating company: NIIgazeconomika (N. Kislenko).

In the course of their work, the authors have achieved the following results:

  1. The economic benefit evaluation methods have been enhanced with regard to individual geological exploration (GE) projects of the Gazprom Group companies by taking into account the uncertainty in the estimates of reserves and resources, as well as geological risk.
  2. The “developed volume” methodology has been tailored to address the task of cost forecasting for GE.
  3. The new task of performing static (short-term) and dynamic (medium- and long-term) optimization of the GE portfolio has been formalized and addressed, which makes it possible to choose the best (in terms of cost-effectiveness and some other criteria) option for GE activities taking into account the existing constraints (expenditures, increment, transfer of licensing obligations, etc.).
  4. The new task of performing multi-criteria optimization of GE project portfolios has been formalized and addressed.
  5. A new universal concept for the assessment, shaping and effective management of GE projects and portfolios at the licensed areas of the Gazprom Group has been created, which for the first time ever has enabled the development of:
    • the guidelines for assessing the cost-effectiveness of Gazprom's Mineral Resource Base Development Program;
    • the Management System for GE Projects and Portfolios software product.
  6. An import-substituting product has been created. It employs domestic software for mathematical treatment, visualization of results, and simulation modeling.

While the research work was in progress, three software applications were officially registered.

The results of the research provide an economic benefit by reducing the costs to be incurred for reaching the targets set by Gazprom in terms of ensuring increment, performing licensing obligations, and reaching cost-effectiveness. The research results are also valuable from a managerial point of view, as they improve the efficiency of both decision-making and decision analysis and provide for better substantiated and more effective managerial decisions during the shaping of Gazprom's Mineral Resource Base Development Program.

O. Aksyutin (supervisor of the work, Gazprom), S. Serebryakov, A. Derevyannikov (Gazprom UGS), D. Korolev, O. Makaryev (Gazprom), E. Burmistrova (Gazprom Export), D. Dubenko, E. Melnikov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ), S. Ilic, R. Markovic (PSG Banatski Dvor d.o.o. Novi Sad) for work:

Technical design and engineering solutions for efficient and long-term operation of difficult wells in UGS facilities owned by Gazprom outside of Russia.

Nominating company: Gazprom UGS (I. Safonov).

In the course of their work, the authors have achieved the following results:

  1. Theoretical insights have been developed for the construction of highly-reliable bottomholes of producing gas wells in loose reservoirs.
  2. Theoretical substantiation has been provided for choosing the bottomhole structure of a gas producing well in such a way as to prevent sand production during well operation and take into account the condition of the reservoir.
  3. A mathematical model of efficient distribution of different gravel fractions in UGS wells has been developed.
  4. Grain size parameters of the gravel packs arranged in bottomhole formations have been defined, taking into account the condition of the reservoir and sand production.
  5. The use of gravel packs with polifraction composition for preventing sand production in UGS wells and colmatation of cracks in frameless strainer tubes has been substantiated.
  6. The type of strainer structure to be applied in UGS wells has been chosen; the use and adoption of frameless strainer tubes has been substantiated.
  7. Technologies have been developed for the construction (including construction in complicated geological conditions) of highly-reliable bottomholes of active UGS wells operating in loose fine-grained and heterogeneous reservoirs, along with technologies for securing the top of the reservoir.
  8. A technology for increasing the deliverability of UGS wells through the improvement of reservoir completion procedures has been developed. Activities have been developed and a tool has been proposed to arrange a production casing opposite a pay zone and remove colmatated old cement stone from the bottomhole formation.

As UGS wells in Russia and abroad operate in similar geological conditions, some results of the research work were first tested at Russian UGS facilities and then comprehensively implemented at Gazprom's UGS facilities abroad. The technical design and engineering solutions developed have been adopted at PSG Banatski Dvor d.o.o. Novi Sad (Republic of Serbia), which works in difficult geological conditions.

The authors of the work received three patents for inventions.

The solutions developed offer an economic benefit, providing for additional profit (through increasing the deliverability of wells) and a reduction of expenses associated with the operation of UGS wells.

A. Lun-Fu (supervisor of the work, Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk), P. Ogryzkov, V. Kiselev, V. Panteleev (Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk), A. Bronnikov (Gazprom), Yu. Mayants, D. Shiryapov, A. Elfimov, S. Shkulov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ), V. Oleksenko (Gazprom Invest) for work:

A set of sci-tech solutions to support pre-commissioning operations at the Power of Siberia gas trunkline.

Nominating company: Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk (V. Borodin).

The novelty of the work is that it has produced the following results for the first time ever:

  • the concept of a comprehensive approach to regulation-based management of the entire cycle of pre-commissioning operations at a gas trunkline (including strength tests, pipeline cleaning and dewatering, filling pipelines with natural gas, and application of in-line devices) has been implemented in practice both in Russia and abroad;
  • simulation models have been developed for thermodynamic and heat/mass transfer processes occurring in pipelines when they are being cleaned, subjected to pneumatic strength tests, dewatered, and filled with nitrogen and natural gas;
  • a highly-effective cleaning method has been applied on pipelines of complex geometry and variable diameter that cannot be cleaned by in-line devices and were previously a source of impurities able to cause a failure in pipeline valves.

In the course of their work, the authors have developed the following requirements and technologies:

  1. Requirements to pneumatic strength tests at gas trunklines.
  2. Dynamic purging methods for pipeline cleaning.
  3. Technical requirements to and application procedures for in-line devices during pre-commissioning operations.
  4. Pipeline dewatering methods which take into account the regional environment and climate, as well as the season in which the construction works are performed.
  5. Safe methods for filling trunklines with natural gas.

The innovative approaches presented in the paper were implemented during the construction of the Power of Siberia gas trunkline (2,167 kilometers long) in 2017–2019.

On the basis of the work performed, three documents for the Standardization System of Gazprom were developed, and four patents for inventions and two utility patents were received.

The implementation of this set of sci-tech solutions to support pre-commissioning operations at the Power of Siberia gas trunkline creates an economic benefit as it provides a number of options to reduce the expenses of Gazprom at each stage of the works.

A. Kleimenov (supervisor of the work, Gazprom Neft), A. Alt, D. Kabanov, A. Kubarev, R. Esipenko, A. Trofimchuk (Gazpromneft-ONPZ), P. Bartashev, A. Nechaev, I. Shakhtarin (Gazpromneft-Bitumen Materials), V. Zaporin (Ufa State Petroleum Technological University) for work:

Elaboration of technology and measures for bringing petroleum needle coke into production.

Nominating company: Gazprom Neft (A. Dyukov).

High-quality needle coke has been brought into industrial production in Russia for the first time ever. This will reduce the domestic electrode and steel industries' dependence on imports.

In the course of their work, the authors have achieved the following results:

  1. A technology and formulas have been developed for blending raw components to produce petroleum needle coke with the required properties. The blend composition has been optimized to enhance the structural arrangement, strength properties, and fractional breakdown of needle coke. The prescribed parameters of raw components to be observed during the production of needle coke have been determined.
  2. The physical and chemical properties of heavy catalytic gas oils have been studied to determine whether the gas oils can be used as a feedstock in industrial production of needle coke.
  3. Improvements have been made to the needle coke production process. Dynamic experiments performed in pilot units revealed a number of regularities conducive to achieving the required quality characteristics of needle coke, depending on initial feedstock and the requirements to the end product.
  4. Techniques of targeted impacts on the substance being carbonated have been reviewed and proposed for industrial implementation, with a view to a possible enhancement of the degree of cross-linking and homogeneity of industrially produced needle coke.
  5. The methods for the assessment of the structural arrangement of needle cokes and a substantiation of the regulatory requirements to their quality have been reviewed for the purpose of graphite electrode production.
  6. Scientifically valid requirements to the characteristics of equipment (check calculations) and the extent of upgrade activities to be performed on the existing production facilities have been specified. Comprehensive technological solutions aiming to bring needle coke into production have been developed.
  7. Initial data have been developed for designing the renovation of a delayed coker unit with a possibility of large-scale production of high-quality Super Premium needle coke and marketable grades of coke from an expanded resource base.

The needle coke production technology has been tested and implemented on an industrial scale. On the basis of the work performed, three patents for inventions were received.

V. Markelov (supervisor of the work, Gazprom), A. Vakhtanov, V. Lazutin, D. Sergeev (Gazprom Space Systems), A. Videneev, Yu. Leus, V. Mikhalenko, A. Molokanov, E. Khalikova (Gazprom), V. Saigin (Gazprom Transgaz Moscow) for work:

Development and application of aerospace technologies in remote sensing of gas trunklines.

Nominating company: Gazprom Space Systems (D. Sevastiyanov).

In the course of their work, the authors have achieved the following results:

  • technologies have been developed for the monitoring of gas trunklines with the use of unmanned aerial and space imaging, and the application of these technologies in aerial surveillance of gas trunklines has been substantiated;
  • regulatory documents covering the use of aerospace technologies in aerial surveillance of gas trunklines have been developed;
  • special software has been developed and implemented for automated processing of the materials obtained during unmanned aerial and space imaging and for generating the findings from surveillance efforts;
  • the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the monitoring of gas transportation facilities has been substantiated, the requirements to UAVs have been defined, and UAV application options have been developed;
  • the requirements to the mission equipment installed on small UAVs for the monitoring of gas transportation facilities have been substantiated;
  • the methods for processing target information and for creating orthophoto maps with a high level of detail on the basis of target information have been substantiated;
  • the technology for the use of space imaging findings in the monitoring of protected zones and minimal distances has been developed, along with the representation formats for the monitoring results;
  • activities have been performed to practice the use of the materials obtained during unmanned aerial and space imaging for the purposes of state cadastral registration, land planning, and creation of a spatial information database for the Technical Condition and Integrity Control Services of gas trunklines;
  • a technology has been developed for using UAVs and space imaging in aerial surveillance with a view to reducing the use of pilot-controlled helicopters;
  • a procedure for planning and conducting UAV flights has been developed, with due consideration of the current laws on airspace management in the Russian Federation and the circulation of spatial data, for the purpose of meeting the operational needs of Gazprom;
  • the results of the work have been implemented in the aerial surveillance of gas trunklines at gas transmission subsidiaries.

A software application was officially registered and a design patent was received with regard to the research paper topic.

The findings presented in the paper made it possible to reduce the costly use of pilot-controlled helicopters in aerial surveillance and obtain the spatial data required to address urgent issues emerging during the operation of gas trunklines.

V. Bratkov (supervisor of the work, Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk), A. Poshelyuzny, D. Kosachev, S. Rusinov (Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk), A. Ishkov, M. Sidorochev (Gazprom), E. Sozonov (Gazprom Tsentrenergogaz), O. Komarov, V. Sedunin, A. Skorokhodov (Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin) for work:

Improving gas-dynamic parameters of Gazprom’s gas turbine units by using advanced numerical modeling tools.

Nominating company: Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk (P. Sozonov).

 

In the course of the work, for the first time in Russia advanced calculation methods in computational gas dynamics have been used to address practical issues relating to the operation of gas compressor units (GCUs), and comprehensive experimental studies have been carried out to confirm the reliability of the calculation techniques used.

After the regenerative heat exchangers that reached the end of their service life had been replaced, a problem arose concerning a large number of emergency shutdowns of GСUs of GTС-10-4 type caused by surges in axial compressors (AC) resulting in, among other things, the destruction of the blade system.

In order to prevent unstable operating modes of GTС-10-4 AC, a computational and experimental study has been undertaken to identify the causes of operational instability in compressors, as well as to search for ways to enhance the AC for the prevention of future accidents. A numerical study of the AC gas dynamics has been undertaken to assess the efficiency and reliability of GTC-10-4 AC, as well as to find ways to improve these parameters.

The elaborated up-to-date methods of numerical modeling and experimental studies on the basis of GTC-10-4 AC made it possible to apply and adopt the solutions for replacing the 4th stage guide vane of its compressor.

Thermal and gas-dynamic tests have been conducted on GTC-10-4 GCU under operation. The results obtained made it possible to lift the previously introduced operational restrictions for units with an upgraded 4th stage guide vane of the compressor and, as a result, to achieve a cost advantage derived from an 8 per cent increase in the available capacity of GTC-10-4 GCU.

As part of the efforts on improving the gas-dynamic stability of the AC, more than 100 gas compressor units of the GTC-10-4 type were upgraded.

 

E. Denisevich (supervisor of the work, Gazprom VNIIGAZ), M. Vanyarkho, V. Cherkasov, L. Cherkasova (Gazprom VNIIGAZ), O. Andreev, S. Burlakov, V. Zatyrko, D. Pankratyev (Gazprom), Yu. Baranov (retiree) for work:

Developing and implementing technology for optimization of geodynamic monitoring systems at Gazprom’s fields.

Nominating company: Gazprom VNIIGAZ (M. Nedzvetsky).

The authors of the paper have developed an optimization technology for geodynamic monitoring systems at Gazprom's fields, which has a research-and-methodological component and a managerial component.

The research-and-methodological component of the technology provides for the development and introduction of a unified methodological approach in the operations of subsidiary companies. The approach includes the following:

  • combined application of satellite radar interferometry methods and optical satellite images in the formulation of a geological substantiation aiming to identify and determine the activity of ruptured faults;
  • modified calculation method for assessing theoretical shift trough described in STO Gazprom 2-3.1-467-2010 and developed in the course of designing the technology;
  • use of data about hydrocarbon production and the current formation pressure to determine the origin of displacements (natural or man-made) and assess the displacement theory model;
  • use of satellite radar interferometry data that provides actual information about the entire licensed area and its surroundings regardless of the availability and state of ground-based observatories, separating man-made displacements from natural ones and taking into account negative external factors;
  • identification of the boundaries of possible hazardous geomechanical and geodynamic processes based on the radar interferometry results against the criteria specified in the SP 21.13330.2012 code of practice;
  • application of differential radar interferometry as the basic method of observation within the entire contour of the field.

The managerial component of the technology consists in:

  • development and introduction of a single information environment including regular exchange of information between the services of chief surveyors and sci-tech structural units involved in surveying;
  • establishment of a geodynamic monitoring management system to perform a comprehensive analysis of all observations made as part of geodynamic monitoring by Gazprom's subsidiaries, compilation of unified reporting and consolidated submission thereof to the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor).

The authors of the work received two patents for inventions and published 43 paper works (including two monographs). Three documents for the Standardization System of Gazprom were drawn up based on the research results.

The main economic benefit brought about by the technology for optimizing geodynamic monitoring systems at Gazprom's fields is that it reduces the costs incurred for setting up geodynamic test sites.

A. Zavgorodnev (supervisor of the work, Gazprom Transgaz Stavropol), A. Baranov, S. Petrov, A. Pyatibrat (Gazprom Transgaz Stavropol) for work:

Implementing innovative energy saving approaches at gas transmission companies through upgraded inspection, maintenance and repair of shut-off and control valves.

Nominating company: Gazprom Transgaz Stavropol (A. Zavgorodnev).

A mobile laboratory facility for valve testing (MLFVT) has been developed to serve, inter alia, as a field laboratory for comprehensive routine maintenance, inspection, setting up and repair of relief spring safety valves. The MLFVT consists of two armored compartments (a working one and a testing one) combined in a van on the basis of a KAMAZ vehicle chassis.

The van's testing compartment has stands for the testing of DN 50–200 mm valves, a high-pressure compressor with storage vessels, high-pressure pipelines arranged inside the compartment, and a lifting device for relief spring safety valves. The working compartment is equipped with an air distribution panel, a test pressure drain valve, a computer-aided system for recording test results, and a video surveillance system to monitor the testing compartment.

The laboratory is designed to perform a whole range of works with relief spring safety valves, including dismantling, disassembling, testing, restoring air-tightness, adjusting, and on-site reinstallation without using gas for process needs (atmospheric air is used as a working substance).

The use of the MLFVT helps reduce the following:

  • gas consumption for process needs stemming from outgassing during the adjustment of relief spring safety valves;
  • gas losses caused by poor tightness of relief spring safety valves;
  • negative environmental impacts caused by gas emissions into the air;
  • transportation costs incurred for the maintenance of relief spring safety valves.

The MLFVT can be used in all of Gazprom's subsidiary companies and entities operating relief spring safety valves at remote sites.

On the basis of the work performed, two utility patents were received.

Sh. Sharipov (supervisor of the work, Gazprom Transgaz Ufa), P. Romanenkov, A. Konstantinov, V. Akimov (Gazprom Transgaz Ufa), S. Skrynnikov (Gazprom), E. Semivelichenko, E. Marchukov, V. Kuprik, D. Lobov, L. Rubin (UEC-Ufa Engine-Building Production Association) for work:

Development and adoption of innovative measures aimed at improving the reliability and efficiency of the AL-31ST engine in the Ufa gas compressor unit (GCU-16R).

Nominating company: Gazprom Transgaz Ufa (Sh. Sharipov).

The authors of the paper have developed and implemented the following innovative measures improving the reliability and efficiency of the AL-31ST gas turbine engine (GTE) as part of the Ufa GCU-16R:

  1. Two engineering solutions were developed in order to improve the reliability of the high-pressure turbine (HPT) rotor blades. The first solution is the replacement of the TsNK-8MP alloy without redesigning the blade itself. The second solution is a new design of a rotor blade made of a heat-resistant alloy of ZhS-32 series with a loop-type matrix cooling system.
  2. To prevent the destruction of the HPT frame, its rigidity was enhanced and vibrations of the high-pressure rotor were eliminated by removing temperature compensating springs and installing an intermediate ring.
  3. To eliminate the defect from the occurrence of cracks on the rear casing of the GTE, a new casing with reinforced wall thickness (up to 5 mm) was designed.
  4. An adjustable inlet guide vane unit was introduced in order to prevent the occurrence of surges, expand the range of the engine's operational stability at the start-up stage and in transient modes, and increase compressor efficiency.
  5. To eliminate the causes of oil coking of the rear bearing support in the power turbine, measures were taken to insulate the internal cone of the gas outlet, install additional linear displacement compensators, and modify the mounting supports of the gas outlet duct and collection chamber.
  6. Rotating valves were added in the cooling system to enable a more uniform air flow and heat removal from the surface of the GTE, as well as to prevent local overcooling and deformations of the case.
  7. The diffuser in the gas outlet of the Ufa GCU-16R was upgraded.
  8. A power supply system including a 120 kW generator unit driven by a high-pressure compressor rotor was developed.
  9. A new fuel valve skid including a fuel gas control valve and a stop valve was designed and manufactured.
  10. Operation of the oil supply system was optimized to ensure the required oil pressure when starting the GTE.
  11. An improved intermediate shaft was developed, eliminating the need to disassemble the half-clutch during the installation/dismantling of the GTE.
  12. For the first time in the industry's history, a system for remote trend monitoring of the AL-31ST engine's operating parameters was devised and put into service on the basis of the automated process control system and dispatch control system of Gazprom Transgaz Ufa. Using real-time operational data, the system analyzes the technical condition of the engine, determines its power characteristics and controls its vibration behavior relying on spectral performance.

In the follow-up to the work done, a decision was made to remove all restrictions on the use of the AL-31ST engine in GCUs both at renovated facilities and within construction projects.

On the basis of the work, ten patents for inventions and three utility patents were issued.

S. Marchenko (supervisor of the work, Gazprom Transgaz Moscow), A. Sviridov, D. Martynenko, P. Kakalin, A. Chubukov (Gazprom Transgaz Moscow), V. Olekseichuk (Gazprom), S. Nikulin, E. Karnavsky (Gazprom Proyektirovaniye), D. Zakharov (Pipeline Systems and Technologies) for work:

A comprehensive solution to improve the reliability of the gas transmission system within the Moscow industrial hub of Gazprom Transgaz Moscow in special operating conditions using a corrosion monitoring system.

Nominating company: Gazprom Transgaz Moscow (A. Babakov).

As a result of the work performed, the equipment of remote corrosion monitoring subsystems was installed, making it possible to control the required parameters of the electrochemical protection and corrosion monitoring system in order to increase the following:

  • operational reliability and safety of facilities;
  • effectiveness of the corrosion protection system;
  • lifecycle of the corrosion protection system elements;
  • skills of anti-corrosion protection specialists.

The introduction of remote corrosion monitoring subsystems at the facilities in operation has helped optimize the operating modes of cathodic protection units, reduce electricity consumption, increase the service life of anode grounding and protective coating, and cut down the costs for their major repairs.

Algorithms for optimal control of the electrochemical protection system have been introduced with due regard for external factors.

A special complex has been devised for corrosion protection specialists at the operating companies of Gazprom with the aim of supporting managerial decision-making in regard to the operation of the corrosion protection system and drawing up maintenance and repair schedules for the protected facilities and corrosion protection equipment, as well as examination schedules for the protected facilities.

The new corrosion monitoring system was put onstream in December 2016, covering, inter alia, 28 cathodic protection stations of the Moskovskoye Gas Pipeline Operation Center of Gazprom Transgaz Moscow.

While the research work was in progress, four patents for inventions were received and one software application was officially registered.