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New 3rd generation technologies for underground oil refining

The project is focused on creation of innovative technologies of production and in-situ conversion of hard-to-recover hydrocarbon reserves, including high-viscosity oil, oil shales and light oil in low permeable reservoirs and mineral tars.

Project manager: Mikhail A. Varfolomeev, Alexander Butlerov Institute of Chemistry of KFU, Associate Professor, Candidate of Science (in Chemistry), born in 1982.

Partners among major oil-producing companies: JSC “Zarubezhneft” (commercial application of the thermal gas treatment technology), PJSC “Tatneft” (development of innovative methods for oil-field development monitoring), PJSC “Gazprom Neft” (development of cost-effective technologies of the Bazhenov Formation development using thermal catalytic methods), PJSC “LUKOIL” (development of the technologies of the combustion front monitoring in the oil-field development), Oil company Petrom (Romania) (application of innovations developed by KFU based on geophysical methods for oil-field development monitoring), Oil and Gas company “SHELL” (USA) (joint implementation of thermal methods for high-viscosity oil and tars production using electromagnetic technologies of the oil-field development monitoring), oilfield service companies Schlumberger (USA) (development of new production methods for low permeable reservoirs) and Xytel (USA) (development of unique pilot units which model reservoir conditions). Partners among universities and academic centres: Stanford University (USA) (joint research in the field of monitoring and control of thermal production methods), the French Institute of Petroleum (France) (simulation of multicomponent systems), the Middle East Technical University (Turkey) (joint research in the field of in-situ oil conversion process), the University of Rostock (Germany) (joint study of the oil components properties and processes involving them when thermal methods of oil production are used).

The main results: the laboratory screening of the underground thermal oil refining technologies in different oil fields has been carried out. A unique unit for the evaluation of kinetic parameters of in-situ oil refining has been created. A number of catalysts of in-situ oil conversion have been found. As a result, in 2015 46 articles were published in the journals indexed in Scopus and Web of Science databases with a total impact factor of more than 70. More than 25 mln RUB were obtained (grants and commercial contracts) and 2 patents were received in 2015.