Gazprom Neft, Skolkovo to establish digital lab for modeling of multi-phase systems


MOSCOW -- The Science and Technology Center of Gazprom Neft and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology signed a collaboration agreement at the Skolkovo Startup Village — the largest startup-conference in Russia and CIS for technology entrepreneurs. The parties have agreed on the further development of joint research and innovation/entrepreneurship activity. In particular, as part of the agreement a new digital lab will be formed to conduct research in the field of Modeling of Multi-phase Systems in the Oil & Gas Industry. This team will be led by Professor Andrei Osiptsov and will be based in the Skoltech Center for Hydrocarbon Recovery, which is managed by Professor Mikhail Spasennykh. The key area of research of the new lab is the modeling of complex flows of multi-phase media (oil, gas, water, solid particles) with the aim of developing the most effective technologies for field development at each stage, from conceptual planning to brownfield. This will be the first joint platform to run research in the area of multi-phase flow modeling for Gazprom Neft with minimal use of imported IT-technologies to develop prototypes of Russian modeling software packages.

Skoltech has been one of the key scientific partners of Gazprom Neft for a number of years already, running a portfolio of joint industry projects in the fields of geology, the design of new superhard materials, machine learning and data science technologies, as well as digital modeling.

The lab for the modeling of multi-phase systems will be established as part of Skoltech’s Center for Hydrocarbon Recovery. Research conducted in the framework of the new entity will be focused on the development of complex integrated models for fluid mechanics processes at each stage of field development, as well as for unconventional and hard-to-recover reserves. The full portfolio of upstream technologies will be covered, from drilling, cementing and cleanup to multi-stage fracturing in near-horizontal wells, flowback, and transient production regimes.

For the modeling of joint motion of fluids and gases, one needs to take into account numerous effects, which requires one to apply new digital instruments and deep academic knowledge from the area of dynamics of multi-phase media and numerical methods. At present, for such modeling one typically needs imported commercial software, however no such particular product allows one to model, plan and control the full cycle of technology application from conceptual modeling to the late stage of field development. The new lab in particular will work on new integrated Russian products for the modeling of the full cycle of technological applications.

The application of digital models helps to replace expensive physical experiments by using electronic analogues (digital twins), which enable one to effectively manage the processes of field development, cut costs, and improve the accuracy and reliability of forecasts of the impact of various factors and technologies on the oil recovery process.

The agreement also stipulates the joint participation of Gapromneft STC and Skoltech in contests, grant calls, and tenders in the field of science-rich innovative technologies, joint work on educational programs, and the organization of joint science forums, workshops and other events.

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