The 12th international Argus Russia and CIS Oil Products conference has taken place in Moscow, supported by Gazprom Neft and attended by more than 150 experts from 18 countries. Representatives from trading, finance, and transportation companies, as well as oil-product producers and government agencies, discussed the industry’s current status and outlook, the impact of digital technologies thereon, and market forecasts for light and dark oil products. The development of refining assets, and the production and sale of oil products, form a major part of Gazprom Neft’s strategy to 2030.
«What we mean by a successful refinery is: a light product yield and refining depth of 80 and 95 percent, respectively; petrochemicals comprising at least 15 percent of the product range; full and unconditional compliance with environmental and safety requirements; and extensive use of modern digital technologies».
The industry’s first ever “Neftekontrol” and digital integrated production scheduling systems were cited as examples of the digital technologies being introduced.
The central part of the conference focussed on a discussion of the issues relating to the domestic production of catalytic refining systems in Russia, with Alexander Zaitsev, Deputy CEO, Gazpromneft-Catalytic Systems describing the modern, high-tech catalyst production facilities that Gazprom Neft is preparing to build in Omsk. Thanks to this initiative — which has been awarded the status of a national project — the company will be able to free the entire domestic refining industry from its dependence on imports here, as well as creating the opportunity to export this technology-intensive product.
«We will be producing 15,000 tonnes of cat-cracking catalysts every year, and 6,000 tonnes of modern hydrotreatment and hydrocracking catalysts. The plant will also produce catalysts for winter diesel and a range of other catalytic systems. By way of raw materials — we use Russian-produced components. We plan to complete construction of the new plant as soon as 2021: this will be the most cutting-edge production facility in the industry».
The final part of the conference saw participants discuss the market for light and dark oil products, and the impact of new MARPOL Convention standards on these, with Alexei Medvedev, CEO, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker, highlighting the company’s readiness to meet these new requirements and expand its product range in marine fuels.
«About 150 gas-powered vessels are currently in operation worldwide today. Roughly the same number are already under construction, with growth in gas-fuelled vessels predicted to outstrip average growth across the global fleet.
Gazprom Neft expects to launch an LPG bunkering vessel in 2021, which will be Russia’s first ‘ship-to-ship’ bunkering vessel. This 5,800 cubic-metre vessel will operate in the waters of the Baltic Sea — the region with greatest demand for LPG bunkering. We signed an agreement on cooperating in bunkering with Sovkomflot and Rosmorport — companies pioneering ships’ transition to LPG in Russia — at this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum».
More than 70 conference attendees visited the Gazprom Neft Moscow Refinery on the second day of the conference, where they were able to see sites — the Euro+ and “Biosphere” facilities — central to the plant’s development.
«The importance of modernisation cannot be overestimated; it plays a huge role in a company’s competitiveness in both the Russian and CIS markets, and in the world. Gazprom Neft is, today, the market leader in this area in Russia, and this is very important not just for the company itself, but also for our oil refining industry as a whole because we, as a country, as an economy, are becoming involved in the cutting-edge technological processes developing in this market».