Hi-tech breakthrough of “OILTIM” company
GC "Oiltim" is actively developing foreign markets.
It has been observed a steady trend of significant reduction in the reserves of newly discovered deposits both in Russia and abroad in recent decades. As the reserves of large and easily accessible oil and gas fields are gradually depleted, the role of "underground storerooms" - relatively small, remote from the developed infrastructure and located in hard-to-reach places: on the shelf or in the permafrost zone - is growing. In this context, the issue of technologies, which make it possible to organize the extraction of hard-to-recover hydrocarbons is most acute. Therefore, companies able to develop these technologies are in demand. "Oiltim" independent Russian diversified service company is one of these organizations. It was established in 2010 to work on the oil and gas market in Russia and foreign countries.
The company is engaged into the organization of early production; it conducts a full cycle of research and testing of wells and seams; designs and optimizes the development of oil and gas fields; develops, manufactures and implements oil and gas field equipment; works on offshore fields; and provides training and advanced training for oil and gas companies.
A wide range of activities of GC "OILTIM", according to Vladmir Lavrov, CEO, has come possible due to highly qualified staff, significant experience in the use of advanced technologies and the availability of its own material and technical base. Company’s structure includes: main service unit of company “Research Center GazInformPlast”, Design and Technology and Engineering Bureau of Oil and Gas Engineering “OILTIM Engineering” (Ufa city), “OILTIMMASH” oil and gas equipment plant in Kumertau city, Scientific- Technological Center “OILTIM” (Sochi city), engaged into analysis in the sphere of optimization of field development and software development, “Academy of Engineering of Oil and Gas Fields” (Sochi city). “OILTIM” management company is located in Tomsk. It should be noted that in 1990 Vladimir Lavrov created “SIAM”, which has been successfully operating till now.
"I wanted to learn new activities," - he remembers. Oil was main direction in former company, and “Rosneft”, “Bashneft” and a number of others were main customers. “OILTIM” had to part with the old customers temporarily and to begin work with gas and gas condensate fields.
New company has found a promising place connected with the early production of hydrocarbons. According to Vladimir Lavrov, in the era of development and operation of large oil and gas fields, no one's hands reached small deposits for understandable reasons. Now the situation has changed, these fields are also in demand, naturally, taking into account the profitability.
“Let’s imagine that explorers drilled a well and found out that there was oil or gas”, -explains the head of “OILTIM” company. – “Then we have to transform to industrial exploitation, and it requires huge costs. But it may happen that oil reserves at test boring have been evaluated erroneously, and capital costs incurred in relation to planned industrial production have been in vain”.In this case “OILTIM” comes to the aid for oil companies and gas workers.
Vladimir Lavrov continues: “We have recently found “breakthrough element”- these are the technologies for the development of deposits with small and difficult-to-recover reserves at early stages, at the stages of geological exploration and industrial experiment works.
Company has developed not only technologies, but also a hardware part: block-modular mobile systems, allowing to realize these technologies in field conditions. In order to produce these complexes, we purchased “OILTIMMASH” in Kumertau, a factory for the production of oil and gas field equipment. The use of mobile units and set-ups, assembled on their basis, solves a whole range of problems: it significantly reduces terms of deposits startup and production of commercial products recovery, minimizes risks of unjustified expenses for capital construction, reduces construction costs and significantly reduces environmental pollution.
Vladimir Lavrov says: “Quality of oil obtained by these plants corresponds to commodity groups and is delivered to the points of its reception. The longer industrial experiment work lasts, the better the deposit is investigated. It is very important that a fairly complete picture is obtained at the early stage. “OILTIM” mobile complexes can be used at new facilities upon completion of works. Now these complexes are being mounted on a number of “Zarubezhneft” and “Gazpromneft” fields. There are certain prerequisites for the fact that we will go on foreign markets with this technology. In particular, “Zarubezhneft” Russian company intends to use our complexes at its facilities in Iran. Foreign specialists are demonstrating great interest in these complexes. At this moment we are participating in a number of tenders, and we are also working on the questions of delivery of our equipment not only to Iran, but also to Egypt and Nigeria. We consider the possibility of both integrated outsourcing (provision of services and equipment) and a simple delivery of equipment with technical support. Our biggest partners – “Zarubezhneft” and “Gazpromneft” - set us a task, and also accompany the development and manufacture of modern equipment as customers, interested in high-level technics and technology of oil and gas production. We have developed good partnership relations with “Gazprom”, where we provide services. The number of Russian companies with which we interact very effectively in Russia is really wide. We have been successfully operating at Kirinskoye gas condensate field located on the shelf of Sakhalin Island for several years”.
Vladimir Lavrov is sure that shelf has a great future, and it is already necessary to train highly qualified personnel, to develop own technologies, and to manufacture domestic equipment in order not to depend on Western partners. The company successfully operates on Krasnoyarsk Territory, Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrugs, Irkutsk Region, Yakutia, Bashkortostan. “OILTIM” has created a network of representative offices for the promotion of its products and services to foreign countries, first of all, to the markets of Africa, Middle East and Asia.
“However, the promotion of domestic products and services abroad is subject to a number of obstacles. - For domestic exporters, support is a real problem”- says Vladimir Lavrov. “I highly appreciate the role of Tomsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we are pleased to participate in business missions, organized by it. However, while working on a foreign market, all Russian exporters, especially those who work on a similar topic, have serious problems related to bank guarantees. I compare how it happens here in Russia and, for example, in Germany. We had to work with “Wintershall” company (Wintershall, Germany). We take huge sums there, put them in the bank, we receive a guarantee, and we work here in Russia with this document. No problem. But in Russia it is a complex system. For example, we want to participate in tenders. First of all, a warranty obligation is required. I take money from bank, I open an account in it, I send money abroad and I don’t know whether refund is possible. Then the problem of legal support exists. None of the exporters with whom I was in contact in Tomsk, has good legal support. We get a contract, we translate it into Russian, and what is forbidden or allowed within it is unknown. In addition, in each country there are many specific requirements with regard to taxation, the absence or availability of insurance of business risks and other important factors for business. Russia has no export support centers abroad. Therefore, working in new countries, we appoint meetings with business partners in various places, and not in the Russian business office, as we would like. It is impossible not to mention the financial risks. Of course, we try to make advance payment to be paid to us in accordance with the contract. However, working in a number of the developing countries, we are not sure that if we receive an advance and ship the equipment abroad, we will get the full value of the contract. There are some difficulties with the bank transfer of money from foreign countries to Russia. It's unclear why it’s a big problem for our banks. For example, it is still unclear how to transfer legitimate from Iran their national currency to Russian rubles and then to receive money from our bank. Our foreign economic activity is largely hampered by the lack of lending programs for oil and gas services. Bureaucratic barriers to customs clearance interfere when, for example, you can not legally take a product abroad to an exhibition in a showroom, for six months or a year, and then have the opportunity to sell it there”.
Vladimir Lavrov outlined all the above-mentioned "barriers" for the implementation of foreign economic activities at the recent forum of exporters "Made in Russia", organized by Tomsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the participation of representatives of JSC "Russian Export Center". The speech of the head of "OILTIM" has caused obvious approval of businessmen and forum participants. Vladimir Lavrov has even gotten a big hand for several times. It was clear that exporting colleagues felt the same. At the same time he put Moscow guests, representing REC, in an awkward position. However, everything was useful - in order to build more effective state support for export-oriented companies.
Russia is currently experiencing difficulties related to sanctions. Experts believe that there is no need to expect "detente" in the foreseeable future, because fundamental geopolitical factors lie at the basis of this tension. Therefore, Russia should mobilize its internal resources as much as possible, rebuild the economy, carry out import substitution, not on paper but in real life.
The foreign economic activity plays an important role in the reorganization of the economy, as the experience of the "Asian tigers" shows. An effective state policy should be developed to support it. Companies - developers of high-tech equipment and technologies for energy extracting are one of the most important resources for a strategic breakthrough to foreign markets. These companies should get special attention. The future of Russia in the European and North American markets in the light of current situation is unstable and unpredictable. Nevertheless, we have a geopolitical advantage: Russia is facing not only the West, but also the East. Perhaps, it's time to consider the East not only as a reserve position. It is necessary to involve all available development institutions for this, and, first of all, associated with high technologies.