Refining and manufacturing

In refining, Gazprom Neft remains focused on upgrading refining facilities and increasing operational efficiency. The company is running the second stage of a major modernisation programme across refineries to step up conversion rate to 98% and raise the yield of light products to 80%.

The conversion rate at company refineries and the yield of both light products and high value-added products such as motor fuels, bitumen products and petrochemicals both increased in 2020. The company also completed the largest construction projects seen in the last five years at two of its refineries: the Euro+ combined oil refining unit (CORU) at the Moscow Refinery and the delayed coking unit at the Pančevo refinery.

A range of measures taken to minimise both the risk of COVID-19 spreading and the impact of the pandemic on operating processes ensured the sustainability and continuity of operations and investment activities across the company’s refineries. Gazprom Neft’s investment programme was implemented as planned.

A weaker demand for petroleum products from the Russian and global economies following the COVID-19 pandemic hit the output of the company’s refineries as well. In 2020, output was 40.4 mt, down 2.6% on 2019.

2020 milestones
  • Euro+ CORU, with a capacity of 6 mt, installed at the Gazprom Neft Moscow Refinery
  • Deep conversion complex commissioned at the Pančevo Refinery (NIS, Serbia)
  • Production of eco-friendly marine fuel launched at the Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery
  • Gazpromneft-Industrial Innovations, a new R&D centre, established
Refining volume, mt
Enterprise 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Gazprom Neft Omsk Refinery 20.48 19.58 21.00 20.72 19.77
Gazprom Neft Moscow Refinery 10.71 9.37 10.50 10.08 10.02
NIS Gazprom Neft holds a 56.15% stake in NIS, a company that owns two refineries (in Pančevo and Novi Sad), production projects in the Balkans and Angola, and a filling station network. 3.10 3.34 3.55 3.14 3.32
Slavneft-YANOS (JV) Share of Gazprom Neft PJSC 7.47 7.74 7.86 7.53 7.28
Mozyr Refinery Share of Gazprom Neft PJSC 0.13 0.08
TOTAL REFINING THROUGHPUT ACROSS GAZPROM NEFT GROUP 41.89 40.11 42.91 41.47 40.39
Source: company data
Petroleum product mix, mt
Product 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Motor gasoline 9.18 8.60 8.86 8.02 8.43
Naphtha 1.56 1.38 1.95 2.14 2.19
Diesel fuel 12.02 11.45 12.32 11.87 12.55
Aviation fuel 3.04 3.04 3.47 3.34 2.67
Marine fuel 2.41 2.67 2.58 2.49 2.40
Fuel oil 6.72 5.70 6.20 6.45 5.12
Bitumen and coke 2.19 2.73 3.07 2.95 3.27
Lubricants 0.42 0.48 0.49 0.54 0.43
Petrochemicals 1.66 1.39 1.49 1.55 1.46
Other 0.75 1.19 0.97 3.41 0.91
TOTAL OUTPUT OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS 39.95 38.63 41.40 40.23 39.43
Source: company data

The company significantly increased its output of motor fuels, bitumen materials and petrochemicals. The output of motor gasolines and diesel fuels increased to 21 mt, up 5.5% against 2019. This increase was driven by the launch of the Euro+ combined oil refining unit despite macroeconomic headwinds.

The output of bitumen materials grew by 310,000 tonnes, or 11.2%, driven by flat road-building volumes in Russia and a favourable price environment on global markets. The output of petrochemicals was up 5.0%.

The COVID-19-related decline in air and maritime transportation across the globe in 2020 decreased the output of jet and marine fuel, compared with 2019.

Throughout 2020, the company continued implementing major investment projects as part of its second phase of technological and environmental upgrades across refineries. Our comprehensive modernisation programme pursues strategic goals in refining, such as increasing the conversion rate to 98% by 2025 and improving environmental performance of operations.

In particular, the Omsk Refinery is finalising the installation of its primary-refining unit, deep conversion complex, delayed coking unit and diesel fuel hydrotreating/dewaxing unit. December 2020 saw the deep conversion complex (a hydrocracking unit, hydrogen production unit and sulfur unit) made ready for start-up, as well as initial steps taken to bring the complex to normal operation.

In July 2020, the Moscow Refinery officially launched Russia’s first Euro+ CORU. This unit will increase the output of motor gasoline by 15%, diesel fuel by 40% and jet fuel by 100%. The company’s investments totalled ₽98 billion.

Euro+ combined oil refining unit

The unique Euro+ combined oil refining unit (CORU) is designed as a “refinery within a refinery”, encompassing the complete cycle from crude oil distillation to production of motor gasoline, diesel and jet fuel blendstocks.

The Euro+ CORU combines six main sections (modules):

  • an electric desalter;
  • a crude/vacuum distillation unit (CDU/VDU) (6 mtpa);
  • a continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) reformer with an upstream naphtha hydrotreater and hydrogen purifier (1 mtpa);
  • a diesel hydrotreater with a dewaxing unit to produce higher-margin winter diesels (2 mtpa);
  • offsites and utilities.

The Euro+ CORU will replace five older-generation units (built in the mid-20th century) and, due to its higher output, will reduce the Moscow Refinery’s energy intensity by 7%. Thanks to a range of unique technologies, the complex was built in just 37 months with the main process units still running, an unprecedented project in the Russian refining industry.

The Euro+ CORU has a very small footprint, allowing for maximum efficiency and ease of operation. Its construction required the installation of 715 oversized items of equipment, 2,000 km of cable (the distance between Moscow and Yekaterinburg in the Ural mountains), 45,000 cubic m of reinforced concrete structures (same volume as the main building of the Lomonosov Moscow State University), and 25,000 tonnes of steel structures (three Eiffel Towers). Equipment was supplied by major Russian manufacturers.

Completion of the Euro+ CORU is an important step towards a digital plant of the future, based on an across-the-board use of digital modelling and digital twins (3D engineering models). This approach maximises asset management efficiency and safety during both construction and operation through higher reliability, shorter turnaround times and lower maintenance costs.

This launch marks the completion of a crucial major project. Bearing in mind that this is the industry’s largest plant of this kind in the region, we can safely say that the country’s leading equipment manufacturers, research institutes and construction companies have all been involved in implementing a major project – and one that is very much needed in the Moscow region.

I’d like to thank everyone for their professionalism and, of course, for the team spirit that has developed over the course of this work.

Russian technologies and equipment have led to the creation of a highly automated, genuinely cutting-edge facility, packed with digital technologies and solutions.

VLADIMIR PUTIN President of the Russian Federation

The Moscow Refinery continues building an automated on-spot loading unit for light products and has moved to the preparation of a deep conversion complex construction project. The future complex using hydrocracking and delayed coking technologies will increase the conversion rate to almost 100%.

The Pančevo Refinery completed and commissioned a new deep conversion complex that leverages delayed coking of vacuum residue to eliminate fuel oil production.

A deep conversion complex comes onstream at the NIS Pančevo Refinery

In 2020, the Pančevo Refinery successfully launched its deep conversion complex using the delayed coking technology and brought it to normal operation. The complex includes the following units:

  • a delayed coker (700 ktpa);
  • a coke transport and offloading system (212 ktpa);
  • an amine regeneration system (170 ktpa);
  • an acid water treatment system (120 ktpa) to improve environmental performance and compliance with EU environmental standards.

The deep conversion complex in Pančevo meets stringent energy-efficiency and equipment-reliability criteria.

With the new complex, the refinery will become a European leader by crude conversion depth, will have much higher operating flexibility, and will be able to respond promptly to changes in market demand. The complex increased the 2020 diesel fuel yield by 5 percentage points year-on-year to 38% of crude feedstock. By coming online, the complex unlocked the first domestic production of petroleum coke in Serbia, which previously needed to be imported into the country.

At Slavneft-YANOS sulphuric acid production unit reached guaranteed performance, which will improve the refinery’s environmental safety and nable flexible production flows. The refinery continues to implement a number of technical development and performance improvement projects, including the construction of a deep conversion complex.

Striving to achieve its strategic goal of becoming a technology leader and a global safety and performance benchmark by 2030, the company established Gazpromneft-Industrial Innovations, an industrial innovations technology centre.

Gazpromneft-Industrial Innovations R&D centre

In 2020, the company created the Industrial Innovations Technology Centre, a new R&D centre focused on developing and implementing technology innovations in petroleum refining as well as related and new businesses. The centre objectives include:

  • implementation of the company’s downstream technology strategy;
  • Research and Development (R&D) project management at all stages;
  • engineering;
  • technology licensing and commercialisation.

The centre’s focus areas include both the traditional business (catalysts and petroleum refining) and related businesses (petrochemicals, organic synthesis and specialty polymers), as well as fundamentally new areas (CO2 conversion, blue hydrogen Unlike the conventional process, which produces hydrogen by reforming natural gas with CO2 emissions, the term “blue hydrogen” is reserved for hydrogen production that involves CO2 capture and storage. , bioplastics, biofuels and new materials). The functionality of the new structure will cover the whole technological innovation management chain – from determining business requirements to deploying technologies in production processes. The new R&D centre will be based in the Special Economic Zone “St Petersburg”. The construction of a laboratory-testing complex to develop and roll out new technologies is underway. The complex will enable rapid development at the laboratory stage, as well as technology piloting, engineering and implementation.