Gazprom Neft deploys ultrasound-based oil-treatment technology unique to the industry

Gazprom Neft deploys ultrasound-based oil-treatment technology unique to the industry

The Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, together with Slavneft-Megionneftegaz, has completed testing of Russia’s first ever oil-treatment technology involving the use of industrial ultrasound.

This technology separates water—oil emulsions into oil and water, under the influence of ultrasonic waves. The process takes place directly in the pipeline, without the use of special separation tanks. This new technology can cut consumption of demulsification agents by as much as 30% in comparison with traditional methodologies,* as well as allowing Russian-made chemicals to be used instead of expensive imported alternatives.

Specialists at the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre researched the impacts of ultrasound, electromagnetic radiation, low, high and ultra-high frequencies, and electrohydraulic shock waves. Researchers from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, together with physics engineers from the NPO Volna Research and Development Institute, were also involved in laboratory testing, the outcomes of which revealed how different force fields act in separating oil—water emulsions, ensuring the most effective process in oil and water treatment.

Testing conducted at a Slavneft-Megionneftegaz field has demonstrated the high cost-effectiveness of this new technology, and scope for its replication throughout other company assets.

“Cutting-edge methodologies, based on achievements in basic science, are helping us cut operating costs and increase efficiency in oil production. This is particularly important in developing mature fields, where projects’ financial viability is directly dependent on the right technologies”, — Director for Technological Development, Gazprom Neft Alexei Vashkevich.

“Commitment to technological leadership is integral to our company strategy. We not only make full use of our own intellectual resources, but also the expertise of the industry’s R&D community. This means we can successfully address many urgent problems in oil production, developing unique technologies and equipment”, — Director General, Slavneft-Megionneftegaz Mikhail Cherevko.


* Demulsification agents (demulsifiers) are chemical reagents used to break up emulsions formed from mutually insoluble (slightly soluble) substances. Oil typically contains mechanical impurities (iron sulphide, silt, clay particles, etc.) along with water, the removal of which is an essential task in processing oil. Demulsification agents cover particles of these impurities with a thin film, resulting in these particles being separated from the oil and removed together with the water.

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