Gazprom neft started producing own drilling fluid base oils

Gazpromneft-Lubricants, operator of Gazprom Neft’s lubricants business, has started producing drilling fluid base oils by its own technology, becoming Russia’s first company of this kind. The product range includes four import-substituting products under the Gazpromneft Drilline brand, with a total production capacity of 5 kta. The project will allow Gazprom Neft to almost completely exclude imported base oils from the drilling fluids production process as well as achieve a 30% reduction in drilling fluid production costs.

Specialized base oils are the main component of hydrocarbon-based drilling fluids* that are used most frequently to drill high-tech wells in difficult geological conditions. The share of base oils in a hydrocarbon-based drilling fluid is 70% to 90%.

Gazpromneft-Lubricants was developing drilling fluids based on the company’s own base oils in cooperation with the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Center (Gazpromneft-NTC) and with support of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University). The production of specialized low-viscosity base oil is set up at the Slavneft-YANOS refinery (subsidiary of Slavneft Oil Company where Gazprom Neft holds a 50% share).Experts of the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Center performed analysis of the best analogues available on the global market, formulated process specifications for the new product line, and took part in laboratory testing when selecting base oil components.

Director of the Gazprom Neft Commercial Directorate Levan Kadagidze said: «Gazprom Neft’s lubricants business today holds the leading position in Russia in terms of product quality as well as application of state-of-the-art production technologies. These results have become possible due to the creation of modern infrastructure, constant development and improvement of production approaches, close cooperation with consumers, and accumulation of the unique market expertise and scientific potential. Development and application of our own technologies to produce drilling fluid base oils that are equal to the world’s best analogues is a serious step that will allow us to achieve long-term strategic goals of our business and to take a high profile among the world’s leading manufacturers of lubricants».

Gazprom Neft Director for Technology, Gazpromneft NTC General Director Mars Khasanov said: «One of the key tasks of our Science and Technology Center is to research, develop and introduce technologies and resources that will increase economic efficiency of our company’s operations. With our own innovations, we are successfully supplementing imported analogues not only in technology and IT products but also in drilling fluid components. It is important not only because it allows us to be less dependent on foreign supplies but first and foremost because we are developing our own technologies».


* Drilling fluid is a complex multicomponent mixture that is used to flush the borehole in the course of drilling. Drilling fluid is designed to clean the borehole from drill cuttings, balance formation pressure, cool down and lubricate the drill bit, ensure good quality of reservoir penetration, etc. Drilling fluids are always selected individually for each well depending on geological structure of the reservoir and its physical and chemical properties.

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