VNIIGAZ at 60 Years. Roman Samsonov Talks about his Vision for Gazprom's R&D; Institute

December 5, 2012

Their record includes finding a scientific justification for investing into exploration to find new reserves, inventing methods and technology for designing field development and new projects. VNIIGAZ has been involved in the biggest projects and most well known, among them Medvezhye, Urengoi, Orenburg, and Astrakhan; design, construction and utilization of trunk pipelines, UGS, gas-chemical and gas processing plants.
It is not that the Institute has simply managed to survive in the changing world over the past many years. But its scientific input allowed the Russian gas giant to considerably extend the borders of its operations, to enhance its international work, diversify its export and the product list, all of which, in the end, led to increased capitalization. Elena Zhuk, OGE Technology Editor, discussed the most significant and interesting VNIIGAZ projects, and essential trends in the gas industry's development with VNIIGAZ General Director Roman Samsonov.
Oil&Gas Eurasia: Roman Olegovich, how have the role and objectives of VNIIGAZ changed over time?
Roman Samsonov: The natural gas industry has always served the interests of Russia and fulfilled tasks which the state might require. In this sense, nothing has changed.
It is the type of programs that have evolved. If our earlier programs concerned a unified system of natural gas supply, exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves, now it is more about extended production, transportation improvement, higher reliability, safer operation. Even the current General Development Scheme for the Natural Gas Industry of the Russian Federation is, in fact, the third one. Gazprom programs are eventually adopted nationwide. For example, the Eastern Program embraces the creation of an integrated system for production, transmission and processing of natural gas from East Siberia and the Russian Far East. It may also include access to China and Asian Pacific countries. That is quite a complex program and there has not been anything like it in the last 15 years where other industries were involved as well. In this respect, we are pioneers for all other industries of the RF.
OGE: It is no secret that foreign companies are eager to take part in development of the Russian shelf. In your opinion, do we have enough scientific and technical resources in Russia to manage that on our own? Or, do we need to employ the expertise of the companies working in the Norwegian shelf, for instance?
Samsonov: One has to understand that only a limited number of companies worldwide have the power, energy and abilities of Gazprom. It is not by a coincidence that the company is a multifunctional one with a vertical hierarchy. Not every company would undertake to put together resources and partners to accomplish such an enormous project as the Shtokman gas condensate field development. Gazprom, having all the resources and gas transportation network available, is capable of integrating the same technological, scientific, production experience, and human resources that Western companies have to offer. When we speak of Shtokman development, we have to understand it as a preparation for exploitation of the entire shelf.
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