Success Story In a Multibillion Dollar Market

Russia’s first producer of flow control units is also a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation’s Energy Efficient Technologies Cluster (EETC).

May 12, 2015

Russia’s first producer of flow control units is also a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation’s Energy Efficient Technologies Cluster (EETC). OGE asked EETC project manager Marat Zaidullin (oil and gas sector) to shed light on Skolkovo’s cooperation with the Moscow-based start-up.

How would you rate the potential (including commercial) of WORMHOLES’ technology development, what exactly does it evolve around? What’s the likelihood of this technology being successful abroad?

Its technological potential is very high since it has no direct equivalents in global markets. The technology has been developed thoroughly, introduced to industrial production, and reached the implementation stage at oil fields. The key advantages include the combination of ingenious technical solutions, simplicity of manufacturing and operation of units, and a wide spectrum of application.

The WORMHOLES technology market is exponentially growing in the whole world and according to preliminary estimates it hit $1.5-2 billion last year, with a potential to grow further to $5 billion by 2020. In Russia, the size of this market in 2014 was $100 million, with a tendency for growth to $800-900 million by 2020.

Similar units are in high demand in Russia and abroad and we do think that WORMHOLES shouldn’t limit its activities to Russia only. The field of complex well completion systems is rapidly growing (both from the point of view of market size and technology development), and that’s an environment in which a startup company with innovative solutions can quickly make itself known and stand out.

How would you assess WORMHOLES’ preparation for participation in the Skolkovo project and acquisition of a resident’s status?

The company officials filed an application for residence at Skolkovo in less than a month after we first met. Our experts green-lighted the WORMHOLES technology and it doesn’t happen often that a technology is cleared in the very first attempt.

What exactly attracted the experts’ attention in WORMHOLES’ application?

The experts especially valued the prospects of the chosen technological direction, as well as the simplicity and innovative concept of proposed technology. The WORMHOLES team’s experience and competence were also given very high marks. Taking into account the company’s large potential, one of the experts recommended that a manager with a track record of leading a major oilfield services business be inducted into the team immediately. Overall, more than 95 percent of experts’ responses were positive, it’s a very good result.

Can you recall any interesting details related to the expert review and evaluation of WORMHOLES’ application?

The review itself is conducted with the minimum involvement of our Foundation’s employees, we rely on external experts. Each cluster has an expanding panel of out-of-house experts with business and science backgrounds, including foreign panelists. Their responses decide whether an application gets a green light or gets rejected. Each application is reviewed by five to 10 experts as per different criteria related to the proposed  technology/product’s market potential, competitive advantages, competences, team experience, etc. That is why certain interesting details aren’t revealed in the process of evaluation, but in the experts’ full-fledged