Alexey Miller: Gazprom is national leader by investments in innovations
Alexey Miller delivered a speech at the plenary meeting:
“I'd like to point out that Gazprom widely participates in this 15th anniversary Tomsk Innovation Forum. There is an explanation for this. Firstly, Tomsk as a scientific, educational and research center was chosen by Gazprom as an outpost for the Eastern Gas Program implementation. Secondly, jointly with the Tomsk Region we have gained a very interesting and – we can already give such an estimate – successful experience of Gazprom's Innovative Development Program execution on the regional scale.
For Gazprom it is not in question of whether the gas sector is innovative or not. The fact is that in terms of innovations, an undeveloped company can't be the leader of the global energy market, which Gazprom is. Of course, everyone heard about Gazprom and knows it, but only a few people realize and understand what our technologies and production process are really like. And those who come to see our facilities are surprised with how advanced they are. And the level of automation control, the level of telemechanics, the level of the Company's information system development are nothing but stunning.
From Gazprom's headquarters at 16 Nametkina Street in Moscow we control in real time all the stages of gas production, transportation, storage, distribution as well as gas supplies both to the Russian and foreign markets. Today the competitive advantage of Gazprom as a vertically integrated Company is the ability to make quick managerial decisions. As for the production management – the decisions are made in a flash.
In 2011 Gazprom developed and approved the Innovative Development Program to 2020. The aim of this program is to set the Company's innovative development priorities right. It is known that a well-stated goal is half a success. And this Program is, at first place, the program of goal-setting. At the same time it should be mentioned that there are quite a few tasks and problems we are solving now.
The key concept of Gazprom's strategy is diversification. Firstly, it is the diversification of our target markets. The Company's operating principles are very simple: firstly, gas should be sold, then produced, conveyed and sold to consumers. Secondly, it is the diversification of our production regions, transport and finished products to be sold.
The Innovative Development Program was developed on the basis of our strategic objectives. First of all, I would like to point out the regional aspect in its implementation. Such regions as Eastern Siberia, Yamal, the Arctic and the shelf are very important for us now. It's clear that Gazprom's operating conditions in these regions differ from the traditional ones. The conditions of technology application, the conditions of equipment and facility operation in these regions are totally different.
We came to Yamal, we launched the Bovanenkovo field, we created the first large facilities in the Arctic. Today, there are no industrial facilities to the north of the Bovanenkovo field. Of course, the operating conditions in this region fall a long way short of all the experience Gazprom has gained over the recent 40 years.
The next area of innovative development is production. In short, it consists in solving the old problems of hydrogen-sulfide containing fields – the Astrakhan and Orenburg fields, as well as the multicomponent gas of Eastern Siberia, the low pressure gas of depleted fields and associated petroleum gas.
Transportation. This includes offshore gas pipelines, the increase in the reliability and safety of gas transmission system operation, though currently it is the most reliable one in the world, according to all the experts – both Russian and the international ones. We are interested in working on the basis of innovative solutions in the area of non-destructive testing. We are interested in increasing the operating pressure in gas pipelines.
The volumes of investments into the Research and Development Program are really substantial. Today Gazprom ranks first in the country. We have increased the amount of financing fivefold in the course of the recent five years. Last year we invested over a quarter of a million dollars in this area. Furthermore, in the framework of the Program to 2020 we are planning to hit the figure of one billion dollars, which means a fourfold increase. This is an illustrative evidence of Gazprom being a strong generation center of demand for innovations based on, and I'll stress it, the programing method.
We are setting ourselves ambitious goals – by implementing this Program we are planning to reduce the total transportation costs by 4 per cent by 2020, production costs – by 5 per cent, storage costs by over 10 per cent and over 50 per cent in terms of raw material base replenishment.
Gazprom managed to maintain its sci-tech potential. 13 scientific research and design institutes work within the Gazprom parent company. 9,000 people are employed in these scientific and design establishments. But the most important thing is that we are absolutely open for cooperation with all the agencies, companies and institutes involved in innovation activities. Nowadays, 5 institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 15 higher education institutions and 28 industry institutes are our partners in implementing our program. And what is the most important is that we are interested in engaging medium and small businesses working in the area of innovations.
Import substitution is still a relevant and important task for us, although even now Gazprom purchases 90 per cent of the products, equipment and services in the domestic market – they are supplied by the domestic manufacturers. But without any doubt we see the potential of even more increasing the domestic product supplies substituted for the technologies and products purchased abroad.
As for the Tomsk Region, we have a Road Map signed for three years. Yet in Q1 2016, we will review the first results of its implementation. It is divided into four consecutive stages. The first one consists in examining technologies and goods produced in the Tomsk Region. The second one is assessing the conformity with Gazprom's requirements, i.e. our technical specifications and standards. The third one is competitive procurement. All the procurement is done on a tender basis. And the last one is monitoring, i.e. the mechanism of the program implementation itself.
Even today I can say that the result is good. Through the Tomsk Region Administration we have received many suggestions from the companies and research institutions of the Region. On our part we have determined possible facilities where these technologies may be applied. Five applications are being considered for funding as part of our investment program.
I would like to highlight this experience of cooperation between the Tomsk Region and Gazprom. I consider it to be a new format of our work in implementing our investment plans.”