In 2012, the Inter-Ministerial Commission for Technological Development, under the Presidium of the Presidential Council on Economic Modernization and Innovative Development of the Russian Federation, approved the Program for Innovative Development at OJSC Gazprom Neft in the area of Oil Refining and Petrochemical Production until 2020. The principles and key performance indicators for innovations in logistics, refining and sales were determined, along with key guidelines to develop innovative technologies in the area of oil refining and petrochemical production. These guidelines include: improving the product quality (in particular, reducing sulfur content and aromatic hydrocarbons in petrols and diesel fuels), increasing the depth of oil refining, developing new products, and increasing the efficiency and sustainability of production.
R&D in petroleum refining and petrochemical processing is being conducted in partnership with Russia’s major research entities which have experience in the production areas which Gazprom Neft regards as its priorities.
The Company’s partners include Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis, RAS, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Institute for Problems of Hydrocarbon Refining, SB RAS, OJSC VNIINP, OJSC NPP Neftekhim, etc.
During 2012, the Company’s petroleum refining units implemented both large long-term innovative projects to develop strategically important technologies (nano-catalized tar oil hydrocracking, solidacid alkylation), and workshop-level R&D to meet the production needs of a specific refinery. One large-scale innovative project, conducted jointly with the Siberian Chapter of the Institute for Problems of Hydrocarbon Refining under the Russian Academy of Science, involved the development and production launch of a biceolyte catalyst for catalytic cracking at Gazprom Neft-Omsk Refinery. Use of the new catalyst helped the Omsk refinery to increase its output of light petroleum products, achieve deeper refining, and lower the sulfur content in products, while also cutting production costs. Gazprom Neft is currently Russia’s largest manufacturer of microspheric catalysts for catalytic cracking. In 2012, a group of authors from OJSC Gazprom Neft-Omsk Refinery received three positive opinions for patents on new brands of cracking catalysts.
In 2012, the Company initiated a number of projects related to high-quality motor fuel component production to develop in-house high-performance catalysts to be incorporated in diesel fraction isodewaxing and oligomerization, and to create a technology for low-octane fraction (raffinate) conversion into a high-octane petrol component (isomerizate) with a yield of at least 90%, etc.
The Company conducted research into the development of new bitumen formulations, including polymer-bituminous binding materials.
All patentable R&D results are supported by patent applications.