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July 17, 2007
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Home / Issue Archive / 2007 / February #2 / Volgaburmash Invests to Build a Better Bit

№ 2 (February 2007)

Volgaburmash Invests to Build a Better Bit

With global drilling at an all-time high, the demand for downhole tools - primarily drill bits - is bullish, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

By Sergei Balashov

While global equipment manufacturing has increased due to high oil prices, the market in Russia is even more dynamic because of the general restructuring of the industry's oilfield services businesses.

As in the rig manufacturing industry, the presence of foreign manufacturers in Russia has grown steadily since 2001, forcing Russian plants to reinvest profits to improve products. Igor Nekrasov, marketing director for the leading Russian drill bit producer Volgaburmash says, "Our company has implemented an active marketing policy, the cornerstone of which was our establishment of VBM-Service, a subsidiary service company, with official representative offices in almost all gas and oil producing areas of Russia and abroad."

About 30 percent of Volgaburmash products are delivered together with a service package from VBM-Services. The availability of close and reliable after-market care can cut drilling expenses by 20 to 30 percent, Nekrasov says. Among the companies cooperating with VBM-Service are Tatneft, LUKOIL, Gazprom-Neft and Rosneft. Volgaburmash exports 40 percent of its production to Australia, North and South America, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Its successful establishment of a representative office in Turkmenistan encouraged Volgaburmash to make the development of a wide domestic and international network a strategic goal.

Volgaburmash also understands the role that investing in R&D plays in retaining and growing its market. The company's profits have grown year on year since 2003, and most of them have been spent on buying new cutting edge technologies to produce high end drill bits - including diamond bits - which meet the highest international standards. "We produce over 800 kinds of rolling bits and 70 kinds of diamond bits," Nekrasov says. "We master the production of nearly 100 new, modernized drill bit types annually. Today we can make a drill bit of any size and complexity with economic and technical characteristics that match the demands of our customers."

Volgaburmash pays attention to quality and ecological safety. The company has a certified quality control system which meets ISO 9001:2000 standards. In 2006 the company obtained an ISO/TS 29001:2003 quality control certificate. Drill bits produced by the company have been certified in accordance with the requirements of the American Petroleum Institute's API SPEC 7 standard. In spring 2007 Volgaburmash plans to finish certification of the ecological care system, health care and worker safety to obtain the ISO 14001:2004 standard certificate and the international industrial safety certificate OHSAS 18001:1999. The certification will be carried out by Moody International.

Volgaburmash is also investing in human resources. In 2003 Volgaburmash, being in deep need of versatile specialists in various fields such as construction, mechanics, electronics and programming, established an HR development center at Samara State Technical University. "Volgaburmash is making large investments in training highly qualified personnel," Nekrasov says. "The main goal of this project is to constantly train specialists capable of working with advanced contemporary equipment without taking too long to adjust."

Copyright © 2007 Eurasia Press, Inc. (USA). All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2007 Eurasia Press (www.eurasiapress.com)