Gazprom Neft, ADNOC Step Up Efforts To Commercialize Digital Technology

Gazprom Neft and a cloud computing joint venture involving Abu Dhabi National Oil Company have signed an agreement to commercialize jointly developed digital solutions in Russia and the Middle East.

Gazprom Neft trains its oil and gas professionals in virtual reality technologies at its Center for Digital Transformation in St Petersburg.
Credit: Gazprom Neft.

Gazprom’s oil-focused subsidiary Gazprom Neft has signed a memorandum of understanding with AIQ, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the UAE-based cloud computing firm Group 42. The firms seek to jointly develop and commercialize digital solutions for the upstream oil and gas industry in Russia and the Middle East.

The partners pledged to develop tools for oil and gas exploration and production using cognitive technologies that cross the spectrum of algorithms, robotic process automation, machine learning, natural language processing and generation, and artificial intelligence.
This is according to Gazprom Neft’s Science & Technology Center, the company’s research and development arm.

ADNOC and Group 42 created the AIQ joint venture in 2019 to commercialize advanced programming solutions specifically for the oil and gas industry. That same year, Gazprom Neft and ADNOC inked a strategic cooperation agreement.

The Russian major’s agreement with AIQ in late December builds on its relationship with ADNOC and follows Gazprom Neft’s participation in the 2021 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Dubai where it showcased several of its proprietary developments.

Gazprom Neft plans to promote its own suite of digital-optimization solutions in the Middle East, an example of which is what it claims to be the industry’s first high-tech well-construction cost-optimization program that identifies types of rocks in real time at several kilometers depth.

The product, based on surrogate parameters sourced from drilling equipment, reduces costs of drilling in narrow oil formations and is an example of a ready-made digital solution that the partnership will jointly commercialize as they also develop together new software to otherwise optimize business processes in the oil industry.

In late January, Gazprom Neft announced it would bench test Russia’s first domestically created fracturing unit later this year. A subsequent field test of the new fleet is planned for 2023 at the company’s Yuzhno-Priobskoye field in West Siberia’s Khanty-Mansi region.

Up to 70% of Russia’s oil reserves fall into the hard-to-recover category, and about 85% of additional production derived from enhanced oil recovery operations is obtained by hydraulic fracturing, Gazprom Neft’s Director for Technological Development Alexei Vashkevich said in a company statement.

Gazprom Neft developed the new hydraulic fracturing unit together with the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. It includes mobile pumping units, monitoring and control stations, field laboratories, and is equipped with the company’s digital “Cyber-GRP” fracturing simulator to enable automated operations.

Also in January, Gazprom Neft announced it had successfully completed a pilot test of the first use in Russia of augmented reality (AR) technologies by inspecting wells in the Yagodnoye field in Orenburg region from Moscow, 1,500 km away.

Regulators with the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) were able to remotely inspect the site for compliance with environmental rules and to issue approvals to commission the facilities, according to Gazprom Neft.