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24 Mar, 2010 07:32

Technology key to boosting Russian crude production and energy efficiency

Russia's oil companies may be world leaders in terms of volume, but a visit by President Medvedev to a key oil producing region has highlighting further technological advances are needed.

President Medvedev chose Western Siberia to continue his push for economic innovation. Russia, as an oil super power, needs first of all it to upgrade its energy complex. Despite its huge resources Russia can’t use them efficiently with dated technology and old soviet equipment.

“Frankly speaking, most of the technological solutions, and devices, that are being used – are all foreign solutions, indeed this is particularly the case with equipment. Our task is to ensure that these technologies are produced locally.”

The President wants Russian companies to focus on deep oil processing technologies.

The Priapskoya oil field run by Rosneft is a good example of how modern technologies boost the bottom line, but it’s an exception to the rule. Here you can see everything from 3D modeling of a future oil fields, to the recycling of associated gas.

As part of the innovation strategy, Russia wants to create its own silicon valley. Viktor Vekselberg, head of the Renova Group, will be coordinating this ambitious project, and he says it will take at least five years before the first enterprises start working.

“Of course, traditionally we need to begin with creating an organized structure, prepare formal solutions. We need to confirm the number of staff required. People believe in this project and see it as the meaning of life for the next 5 years, and not as Sisyphean toil. This is a task that needs to be turned into concrete results.”

But before these grand plans will become a reality, the President says Russia still has to focus on developing energy saving technologies, with Russia losing vast amounts of production to energy inefficiency.