23 Mar 2010 18:16

Oil cos could pump 1.5 trillion rubles into refining by 2015

KHANTY-MANSIISK. March 23 (Interfax) - Oil companies could invest 1.5 trillion rubles in efforts to increase refining depth and the progression to higher euro-standard fuel production by 2015, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said at an energy efficiency conference.

Product yield at Russian refineries is still extremely low at 72% on average, Sechin said.

One reason for this, Sechin said, is the extensive development of the Russian oil refining industry, which has no shortage of oil. It is a shortage of crude that has driven the development of refining in other countries, he said.

Measures to improve efficiency could raise the Nelson index at refineries to 11-12, refining depth to 83% and product yield for light products to 77%-78%, he said.

In general, Sechin said primary energy-saving initiatives could save the economy 51 million tonnes of standard fuel by 2015 and 94 million tonnes by 2020.

"The potential for energy saving and improved energy efficiency in the Russian economy is 421 million tonnes standard fuel per year, and around half that potential is being realized in the fuel and energy sector," Sechin said.

Improving oil recovery ratios, the rational use of associated gas, lowering the technological level of gas consumption, raising the efficiency rate of generating equipment, cutting power grid losses, implementing new coal mining technology, recovering methane from coal seams and other measures are the main areas for raising energy efficiency in the fuel and energy industry, he said.

The Russian economy is two or three times more energy intensive than developed economies Sechin said.

Also, he said "new technical solutions could in time reduce the cost of transporting [oil and gas] by up to 42%" by improving the efficiency ratio of pumping equipment from 27%, which is way below the world best of 42%.

Sechin urged the use of the latest Russian technologies, specifically new-generation 25-32 megawatt units, to improve the efficiency ratio of pumping equipment to 40%.

This equipment would cut down on gas losses, he said. "Current gas expenditure is approximately 59 billion cubic meters, but more efficient units would help save around 20 bcm per year," he said.

The use of highly durable pipes in pipeline construction should also be encouraged. "This could reduce metal consumption in gas pipelines 13%-15% by increasing pressure, and reduce the cost of pipeline construction," Sechin said.