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Nikolay Tokarev, President of Transneft: Innovative Development is our Company's Priority

Date of publication: 13 April 2020

 “What joint projects in the field of oil transportation are implemented in Kazakhstan by your Company?”

“Transneft transports Kazakhstani crude oil through Russia and also supplies Russian crude oil to China through Kazakhstan. In 2019, 15.3 million tonnes of Kazakhstani crude oil were exported through the Transneft system and supplies to Kazakhstani refineries amounted to 1 million tonnes. Exports of Russian oil to China through Kazakhstan amounted to 10 million tonnes. Our partner in the implementation of these operations is KazTransOil.  Another important line of work with KazTransOil is the supply of equipment produced by business units of the Transneft system under the Memorandum of Cooperation between our companies. In 2019, KazTransOil received a unit for breaking apart bottom sediments. At present, the parties are continuing their cooperation under the Memorandum. Transneft and KazMunayGas represent the interests of Russia and Kazakhstan in the international Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) project. The CPC is an example of successful international energy cooperation between the world's largest oil companies. The CPC oil pipeline connects the Caspian fields of Kazakhstan with the Black Sea coast of Russia. In 2019, 63.2 million tonnes of crude oil were shipped from the CPC Marine Terminal, including 55.8 million tonnes from Kazakhstan and 7.4 million tonnes from Russia. It should be noted that in 2019, we and our Kazakh colleagues, as shareholders of the consortium, approved the project to remove bottlenecks in the pipeline system, which will increase the throughput capacity to almost 81.5 million tonnes of crude oil per year. The new capacities will be loaded with increasing volumes of oil produced in Kazakhstan, mainly from the Tengiz field.”

“How does Russia assess the prospects for cooperation with Kazakhstan in the transportation of petroleum products?”

“Diesel fuel pumping via petroleum products trunk pipelines (PPTPs) is carried out via the Ufa – Omsk PPTP both directly to the Republic of Kazakhstan and in transit through its territory. The main volume is diesel fuel produced by Gazprom Neft’s Omsk Refinery. In 2019, transit pumping of diesel fuel amounted to 2 million tonnes, by 2021 it is to increase to 3.1 million tonnes. Diesel fuel shipments to the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2019 amounted to 0.3 million tonnes and will remain at this level in the future.”

“What new technologies does Transneft use for oil transportation?”

“Innovative development is a priority for our Company. By developing and implementing breakthrough technologies and technical solutions, we ensure reliability and safety of the trunk pipeline system, as well as reduce costs. As an example, I will cite some of the products manufactured by Transneft under its import substitution programmes, which meet and, in some cases, exceed the quality characteristics of the best world analogues. These are systems for monitoring pipelines’ technical condition, high-precision in-line diagnostic inspection tools, transformers for variable frequency drives, energy-efficient pumps and electric motors, as well as oil and petroleum products’ lease automatic custody transfer units. Our latest additions include an invention in the field of environmental protection: we have developed a biosorbent, which could be used under low temperature conditions, too. I'll pay special attention on our drag reducing agent, which allows to reduce hydraulic resistance of pipelines and increase their throughput capacity without capital expenditures. To obtain the additive, a special technology has been developed which is based on polymerisation of alpha-olefins in organofluorine environments.”

“What new opportunities are opening up for Transneft in the framework of the association?”

“The association’s platform allows to solve complex organisational and practical tasks in formal and informal settings. Transneft has large experience and competence in the field of trunk pipelines operation and is constantly working to improve both qualitative and quantitative characteristics of all pipeline infrastructure maintenance parameters. The Company has developed and implemented unique methods. Within the association, we have the opportunity to share them with our foreign partners. The most striking example of this is the method for energy efficiency benchmarking, which allowed members of the association to reduce the average specific electricity consumption by 12% over three years. On our initiative, in 2019 the association established an expert group for operation, which will discuss the problems of facilities inspection, corrosion protection, welding and installation works, etc. I believe that the practical experience gained will contribute to maintaining a high level of industrial and environmental safety at the facilities of the International Association of Oil Transporters` (IAOT) member companies. During the meetings of the supply group, crude oil quality issues are considered, and approaches to oil and petroleum products accounting are agreed upon. Work has begun on studying the legislative and regulatory framework of pipeline-operating countries with a view to finalising national standards used in pipeline transportation of oil and petroleum products. In connection with the increased sulphur content in the blend supplied via the Druzhba oil pipeline, the group has twice initiated appeals on behalf of the association to the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation in support of the initiative to separate high-sulphur oil into a separate flow towards the port of Ust-Luga. As you know, the oil transportation industry is highly specialised. Oil transportation companies are not as well- known as, for example, oil producers and refineries. I am glad to note that our association has tested a new mechanism of interaction and promotion of the interests of the IAOT members, thanks to which it is possible to attract a wide range of market participants to the activities of the association and the pipeline industry as a whole. In 2018, under the auspices of the IAOT and in cooperation with the world's leading analytical agency Argus Media, Prague held the Argus Pipeline Systems: A Course on Sustainable Development international pipeline conference, which brought together field experts from more than 15 countries. It is planned that the practice of holding such specialised international events will continue.”

“How do you evaluate the work of the association's expert groups?”

“I fully support the systematic work carried out by the IAOT members within the energy efficiency, supply, legal and operational groups. The agenda of the meetings is becoming increasingly comprehensive. The most important achievement we have reached with the help of our association and expert groups is the establishment of a horizontal dialogue between specialists in specialised areas. They have this opportunity to discuss issues, get acquainted with new findings and discover interesting solutions. In practice, the energy efficiency group has brought tangible financial benefits to companies through the use of benchmarking methods. I believe that the operation group has no less potential and will also be useful to all IAOT members in terms of inventions and know-how which can be used in the construction, maintenance and upgrading of tanks, as well as in the repair of trunk pipelines and insulation coatings, corrosion protection of steel structures, etc. I do not rule out that the number of expert groups may increase with time.”

«The Eurasian»
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