4.9. Innovative Development

As per Instruction of the Russian Government No. DM-P36-7563 dated 07 November 2015 and Executive Orders of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1471p-P13 dated 03 March 2016, based on the results of an independent technological audit, the Transneft Innovation Development Programme for 2017—2021 (hereinafter referred to as the Innovation Development Programme) was created in 2016.

The Innovation Development Programme was coordinated with the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation; it was approved at the meeting of the Interagency Commission for Technological Development at the Presidium of the Council for Economic Modernisation and Innovative Development under the President of the Russian Federation (Minutes No. 10-D01 dated 07 October 2016) and then approved by the Board of Directors of Transneft on 11 November 2016 (Minutes No. 21).

The new Programme retains all the main events and projects of the previous one up to 2017. The Programme was expanded and includes initiatives for developing the system of intellectual property management and cooperation with universities, scientific organisations, institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), technology platforms, innovative territorial clusters, etc.

The Innovation Development Programme was highly appraised by the interdepartmental group of independent experts among Russian fuel and energy companies (98.7% out of 100%), which is one of the highest scores for companies fully or partially owned by the state.

New engineering solutions are being introduced with a view to ensuring reliability and safety of the system of trunk pipelines and uninterrupted transportation of oil and petroleum products to consumers in Russia and abroad.

The development and introduction of new equipment and technologies in 2019 facilitated the implementation of the Company’s strategic performance indicators.

In 2019, a breakthrough innovative project titled “Development of a Set of High-Precision In-line Inspection Tools for Ensuring Reliability of Trunk Pipeline Facilities” was brought to life. 3 ultrasonic inspection tools, including 1 with phased array detectors, 6 magnetic inspection tools and 1 multichannel pipeline calibration system were put into commercial operation.

In 2019, certain applied R&D projects, substitution of imported equipment and technologies, as well as improvement and optimisation of operational processes were addressed within the framework of the Master Plan for R&D, design and experimental and engineering work at Transneft and its subsidiaries.

In 2020, the following major solutions have been completed:

  • a unit for automated ultrasonic control of circular welded joints of a tank wall using the technology of phased antenna arrays. It will allow a significant increase in productivity, as well as reduce the influence of human error compared to the methods of control currently used. The advantages are provided by wireless transfer of the data on welding control with their coordinates (GLONASS/GPS) to an operator’s automated workstation for further automated decoding (search and classification of weld defects) and compilation of a report.
  • an experimental multifactor test bench for oil and petroleum products drag-reducing agents, which enables the study of drag-reducing agents (DRA), surfactants and other reagents. The solution has three research lines – DN30, DN50 and DN100 – and provides for testing using oil and petroleum products with different rheological properties. According to the plan, the bench will help study the efficiency of existing additives under various conditions, as well as to develop and test new chemicals to organise their mass production at Transneft Synthesis.

In 2017–2019, the main key performance indicators of the Innovation Development Programme comprising the integrated indicator characterising Transneft’s innovative activities showed the following results:

Indicator 2017
target actual
Financing of innovative projects, including R&D, from own funds given as a percentage of Transneft’s revenue from oil transportation services (according to RAS) 1.41 1.41 1.41 1.41
Number of titles of protection for intellectual property obtained during the reporting period and two previous years 91 pcs. 94 pcs. 93 pcs. 100 pcs.
Integrated effect of in-house commercialisation of innovative projects, including R&D, for the reporting period and two previous years in terms of percentage of Transneft’s revenue from oil transportation services by RAS 1.47% 1.48% 1.48% 1.48%