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Reliable Staff Equals Reliable System

Date of publication: 28 November 2019

Andrey Khodosevich

For more than half a century, reliable and safe black gold transportation has been among the main priorities of Transneft Siberia. Indeed, not only ecological, but also economic well-being of the whole country depends on it.

Growing Up in the Directorate

Andrey Khodosevich, Head of the Tobolsk Oil Trunk Pipeline Directorate of Transneft Siberia, moved to Tobolsk, the former capital of Siberia, with his father Anatoly to participate in the creation of the Oil Pipeline Directorate.

Andrey grew up among oil pipeliners. Initially, his parents, like many other specialists, lived in the building of the Tobolsk Regional Oil Pipeline Directorate. His mother was a cook at the production service shop, and his father was a senior dispatcher. By the way, the dispatcher station was located right behind the wall of the apartment. However, most of the time the head of the family spent working directly at the pipelines, as he helped launch oil pumping stations. The area of responsibility of the Tobolsk personnel included the territory up to Omsk.

“The helipad was literally three hundred metres away from the directorate,” Andrey Khodosevich recalls his childhood. “And when I heard the noise of a helicopter, I ran to meet my father returning home.”

And although Andrey Khodosevich dreamed of becoming a sailor in his childhood (he even entered the Tobolsk Naval College), the fate itself forced him to follow in his father's footsteps. Having learned to be an instrumentation and automation fitter, he came to the Tobolsk Oil Pipeline Directorate — and has been working here since the early 1980s. He left his home Company only twice. The first time when he was drafted into border protection forces and sent to Sakhalin. It is worth noting that after the army he graduated from the Omsk State Technical University. The second time was in the crazy nineties. Khodosevich was forced to leave to become a master of practical training at a professional lyceum to prepare instrumentation adjusters for four years.

“As soon as the Company’s revival began, Nikolay Zhernakov, one of the first leaders of the Tobolsk RPD, invited me back to become an engineer,” Andrey Khodosevich says.

A few years after his return, he became the Chief Engineer of the Tobolsk Oil Trunk Pipeline Directorate. In 2005, he was appointed the Head of the OTPD.


By then, Andrey Khodosevich felt literally at home in a helicopter, as he monitored the work progress at five oil trunk pipelines entrusted to him. These include over 1,600 kilometres of pipelines, 6 line operation dispatcher stations (LODS) and a tank farm at the Demyanskoye LODS. In recent years, the entire system is undergoing a rebirth. First of all, dozens of underwater crossings, including through the Irtysh and Tavda Rivers, were replaced as part of Transneft Siberia’s technical upgrading and revamping programme.

“Under the river beds, we laid new reliable siphons with reinforced pipe walls and increased insulation,” the head of the department noticed. “After all, these are the oil pipeline sections that have the most potential for being hazardous. By replacing them, we prevented any emergency situations for the coming decades.”

According to the results of in-line inspection, tens of kilometres of corroded oil pipelines were also replaced. The telemetry and automated process control systems were updated with the replacement of hundreds of kilometres of cable and instrumentation. In addition, two tanks were built for receiving oil from the Uvat oilfields.

This year, the works have been carried out at almost fifty facilities. In particular, the Uvat, Demyanskoye, and Mugen LODS installed over thirty new mainline pump units together with electric motors with an extended service life, much higher efficiency and a much longer maintenance interval. At the same time, the auxiliary automation, ventilation and drainage systems were replaced, and so was the unit oil supply system. All this allowed to increase the reliability of equipment operation, not only minimising the risks of its failure, but also increasing the energy efficiency of operational processes.

In addition, Transneft’s first substation with digital measuring transformers, microprocessor relay protection and automation units was introduced at the Uvat LODS, as well as the Company’s first energy monitoring and metering system. It is designed to ensure smooth operation of oil pumping units, protect equipment and reduce electricity losses. The project also provides for the construction of a diesel power plant with communications for emergency backup of power supply.

A new boiler house was built at the Setovo LODS. The equipment was updated. Currently, it works without personnel interference, everything is completely automated. A warm hangar was constructed for maintenance and repair of swamp buggies and other special equipment, which used to stand outdoors.

Several bridges we mounted using the Directorate’s own forces. It remains to build one more bridge and complete the road to Irtysh in order to open the route road from the Kedrovaya LODS to the Demyanskaya LODS. Similar bridge and route road construction works are carried out by the Uray OTPD, which will ensure year-round access of special equipment and emergency response teams to the trunk pipelines and, accordingly, the safety of oil transportation along the Surgut — Polotsk oil pipeline section.

The stations themselves became noticeably prettier: today, they strike visitors with perfect cleanliness and order. After the overhaul, the industrial buildings were lined with sandwich panels in Transneft’s white and blue corporate colors. And instead of old concrete slabs – asphalt and curbs were laid, lighting and video surveillance systems were installed.

“In the 60s, our entire directorate pumped as much oil as Uvat District does nowadays,” Andrey Khodosevich recalls. “We’ve brought all our pipelines to the maximum capacity. The radical modernisation and renovation of the system created by our fathers and grandfathers will allow it to operate for many decades in an emergency-free and uninterrupted mode. Moreover, the Company's working conditions are really comfortable now.”

Flying the Flag of Kindness

Oil workers do not forget about other residents of their region. As part of Transneft’s corporate charity programme, the Tobolsk OTPD carried out major repairs of mathematics, chemistry and physics classrooms in six rural schools, installing modern demonstration equipment and outfitting school laboratories.

Oil workers thereby hope to create the conditions for in-depth studies of exact sciences, increasing the quality and level of school education. This will allow students, including children of the Company's employees, to easily enter specialised secondary and higher educational institutions to study engineering professions that are in demand at Transneft.

The Tobolsk OTPD helps nursery schools and primary health centres, public, sports and religious organisations. Near the mouth of the Vagay River, for example, Transneft Siberia helped build a chapel at the site of Ataman Yermak’s death.

With the support of the directorate, the Lyzhnya Rossii (Russian Ski Track) nationwide ski race and the Under the Flag of Kindness international charity event with a concert programme were organised in Tobolsk. All the funds raised during the latter were handed over to parents with disabled children who need high-tech operations and special rehabilitation equipment.

Caring about the City

Recently, volumes of Andrey Khodosevich’s work have noticeably increased. Residents of the region have imposed another duty on him, having elected him a deputy of the Tobolsk City Duma and entrusting him with the care for their home city.

“We have a progressive company, we are one step ahead of others,” the people's representative declares with pride. “Besides, I grew up in this city and I know it from the inside. No wonder that the city authorities are asking us to help with many problems. I always share my experience. I advise on the best way to lay engineering communications, the best equipment to choose.”

Andrey Khodosevich wants to give the foothill plain its former gloss. Famous Tobolsk residents like Semyon Remezov, Pyotr Yershov, Dmitry Mendeleev, Vasily Perov, Aleksandr Alyabyev and Yury Osipov once lived and worked in this particular place. The restoration of Tobolsk’s foothill plain will begin with the arrangement of the Bazarnaya and Platsparadnaya Squares next year.

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