It is planned to include 5 key areas in the StrAU: Searching and exploration of hydrocarbon resources deposits, 3D reservoir modeling, Development of effective methods for oil and gas production; Development of catalysts for oil production, Refining and petrochemistry; Assessment and management of environmental risks; Innovative solutions in the areas of gas chemistry: study of gas hydrates and gas processing.
Search and exploration of hydrocarbon resources deposits, 3D reservoir modeling, the development of effective methods for oil and gas production
The field integrates four topical issues of development of hydrocarbon crude: effective search and exploration of new fields with the use of a set of modern methods of stratigraphic analysis, 3D reservoir modeling, designing of effective ways of development of oil fields in the matured stage of development, designing effective ways of development of deposits of non-traditional raw materials such as bazhenite and domanikite, as well as highly viscous oil and natural bitumen. Relevance. Search and exploration of new hydrocarbon deposits is one of the priority tasks, since the increase of hydrocarbon reserves guarantees the stable development of the oil industry. Interdisciplinary, problem-oriented approach to research. Developments are carried out on the basis of several institutions such as the Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technology (development of forecasting technology of the nature of oil saturation of potential hydrocarbon deposits, “modeling from nanometer to kilometer” technology) and Alexander Butlerov Chemical Institute (research in the field of biomarkers of oil), Institute of Computational Mathematics and Information Technologies (software package “Complex physical and chemical processes modeling”), Higher School of Information Technology and Information Systems (“BIG DATA” technology). Expected results. The followings are expected to be formed: International Consortium of Chemical Engineering and Modeling (2018), Consulting and Outsourcing Centre in the field of Petroleum Technology (2016), etc. Expected results. Raised funding – 15 mln RUB (2016) and 130 mln RUB (2020). The number of papers in the list of WoS / Scopus – 10/12 (2016), 37/45 (2020).
Development of new technologies of 3rd generation for cost-effective production of hard-to-recover hydrocarbon reserves – “underground oil refining”
Traditional technologies of oil and gas production are becoming less effective due to the depletion of light hydrocarbons reserves. They are replaced by new technologies for the development of non-conventional reserves and bitumen deposits, based on the chemical and thermal methods, the use of which can significantly increase the oil recovery factor and carry out partial processing of oil directly into the reservoir. Interdisciplinary, problem-oriented approach to research. This area is focused on solving of several problems facing the current and future development of the oil industry. Traditional technologies can not be used for the extraction of shale oil, highly viscous oil and bitumen. New technologies based on the use of chemical and thermal methods have become unprofitable due to low oil prices, which can last for a long time according to the World Energy Association.
The most significant partners and their role: Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) – joint research in the field of thermodynamics, kinetics and modelling of in–situ conversion processes of oil due to thermal stimulation; IFP Energie Nouvelles – French Institute of Petroleum (Paris, France) – joint work in order to develop and test methods for modelling of complex multi–component systems, ETC. Expected results: 155 mln RUB (2016) and 480 mln RUB (2020). The number of scientific papers in the list of WoS / Scopus – 95/114 (2016) and 245/292 (2020).
Development of catalysts for oil production, refining and petrochemistry
The uniqueness of this area is to develop an innovative approach to refining: it is planned to create a fundamentally new type of catalysts to be used for deep oil refining in this area. In addition, a unique infrastructure which allows to develop new catalytic systems, as well as to explore the full range of their physical, chemical and catalytic properties will be used for the training of specialists of a qualitatively new level, having a complete set of theoretical knowledge and experimental and technological skills. Interdisciplinary, problem-oriented approach to research. Existing teams, a wide range of opportunities of available instrument park will be used in order to achieve the planned project indicators. Grant funds will be used to enhance international cooperation and to build instrument park. The most significant partners and their role: Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK) – the creation of catalysts for the technologies of extraction of unconventional hydrocarbon, Institute of Organic and Physical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia) and the Institute of chemistry of organometallic compounds of Florence (Italy) – the creation of homogeneous catalysts, etc. Expected results: Raised funding – 120 mln RUB (2016) and 400 mln RUB (2020). The number of scientific papers in the list of WoS / Scopus – 99/119 (2016), 280/335 (2020).
Assessment and prevention of environmental risks
Pollution of ecosystems with oil and oil products accompanying the processing and production of hydrocarbons is one of the most serious environmental issues of today. New developed fields, new methods of oil production, toughening of public and legislative requirements to quality of the environment dictate the need for environmental safety, including monitoring of impacts, environmental risk assessment and the development of technologies for the treatment of pollution. The use of biological methods such as bio-indication, biotesting and bioremediation of contaminated soils, sludge and water, for the mentioned purposes is promising both from scientific and practical points of view. The most significant partners and their role: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences – Consulting research in bioremediation of oil sludge, the development of joint projects to support international grants; Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany) – joint research in the field of restoration of the quality of contaminated soils; organization of new areas of research related to the use of biochar for soil conditioning, etc. Expected results: raised funding – 15 million RUB (2016) and 140 million RUB (2020). The number of papers in the list of WoS/Scopus – 33/40 (2016), 93/112 (2020). Connection with educational programs: all research results will be implemented in the educational process (lectures, workshops, seminars) of newly developed master program “Environmental safety in the petroleum sector” (Section 2.1), as well as currently implemented program “Ecological safety and in the field of environmental management” and “System ecology and modelling” (Section 1.7).
Innovative solutions in the field of gas chemistry: the study of gas hydrates and gas processing
This project is directed toward the solution of many problems of extraction, transport and processing of natural gas. In spite of reserves of natural gas in gas hydrates form are beyond than reserves of traditional gas sources, efficient method of natural gas extraction from gas hydrates has not been proposed yet. The most significant partners and their role: Ecole Nationale Superieure de Techniques Avancees (Paris, France) – joint research in the field of thermodynamics and modelling of processes of dissociation and the formation of gas hydrates; Heriot-Watt University (UK) – joint research in the field of development of natural gas production from gas hydrate and methods of preventing formation of hydrates in the process of oil and gas transportation, etc. Expected result: raised funding – 15 mln RUB (2016) and 130 mln RUB (2020). The number of papers in the list of WoS / Scopus – 10/12 (2016), 37/45 (2020).
Professional development of faculty members participating in research activities
- Implementation of major joint projects with oil and petrochemical companies, the creation of international consortia for in situ oil refining on the university’s basis. Implementation of major international conferences and international research programs.
- Internships in leading centres of studying rocks and reservoir fluids (ETH, Stanford University, Ruhr University, Frei University, Rostock University, Technical University, Bergakademie Freiberg and others). Creating internal postdocs positions in order to attract talented researchers, having a degree of Ph.D.
- The increase in the share of publications in journals of WoS and Scopus database.
- Creating OpenLabs to implement initiative research projects of fundamental and applied nature with an independent budget. Creating accommodation for invited staff.
Other results and measures to develop research activities of the StrAU
A number of centres and consortia will be created as a part of StrAU that will more effectively implement the existing and newly created projects.