Pilot Test Facility

Historical background

Demand for pilot test approval and further introduction of technological processes and equipment developed by the Institute was the reason to establish a special facility for that purposes in the ‘50s.

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1952
Pilot unit for production of formaldehyde from natural gas developed under the supervision of N.N. Semenov, member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Research Center for Chemical Physics), together with A.M. Markevich, A.B. Nalbandyan N.S. Enikolopov, as well as VNIIGAZ specialists A.N. Ivanov, A.A. Anisoyan and S.F. Gudkov confirmed rationale for construction of the pilot test facility to speed up implementation of the scientists’ ideas and lay-outs.
1954
The first building was constructed for the management board and administrative department. The building arranged acetylene production unit and a unit for studying adsorption processes.
1955
The test facility saw establishment of the Central Laboratory designed to perform comprehensive analytical control and component analysis of complex hydrocarbon mixtures, oils, resins, gas condensate, steels and other materials.
1956
The first production workshop equipped with machine tools was built. This offered an opportunity to manufacture research units and equipment to study and develop technological processes.
1962
The test facility was reorganized into VNIIGAZ pilot test plant by the decision of Glavgaz USSR.
’60-‘70s
These years evidenced staged development of the pilot plant’s production infrastructure, organization of divisions and sub-divisions with skilled specialists able to address tasks of the Institute’s scientific departments and the industry’s design companies.
1996
The pilot plant was reorganized into VNIIGAZ pilot test facility, which shortly after became the structural subdivision of the Institute.
2000s
These years marked construction of the first start-up units at the pilot test facility within the R&D Center. The works encompassed development of the test bench to produce synthetic liquid fuels, reconstruction of the engineering and process infrastructure, and the start-up of the Environmental Protection Laboratory with a test unit for production of biological preparations.
2006–2007
PTF engineering and technical staff together with scientists estimated the technical state of the production, research and test equipment of the Company. Estimation results helped to formulate work plans to upgrade equipment and bench units, develop design and process flow documentation for new and upgraded research and test bench units. This allowed PTF for working at full load during a long period of time.


Pilot Test Facility today

PTF territory (total area 9.65 ha) is provided with all necessary engineering networks and communications:


branched network of process pipelines

electric capacities

structured cabled systems

own boiler house powered by natural gas

access and security systems

fire alarm and fire suppression systems

The pilot test facility is fitted with work places and provides all conditions for production activities:

36 scientific laboratories and 15 research centers

8 subdivisions of the Pilot Test Center

4 subdivisions of the Building and Structures Operation Service


Structural subdivisions:

Corporate Center for formation systems research (cores and fluids)
  • Laboratory for comprehensive core studies
  • Laboratory for comprehensive studies of hydrocarbon systems
  • Reservoir Engineering Laboratory
  • Laboratory for physical modeling of multi-phase processes
Corporate R&D Center for gas transmission systems and technologies
  • Oils and lubricants laboratory
Center for gas production technologies
  • Laboratory for field gas hydrate, adsorption and membrane technologies
Corporate R&D Center for metrological support
  • Laboratory for physical & chemical properties and natural gas quality control
  • Test and certification laboratory
  • Metrology laboratory
Corporate R&D Center for gas treatment, liquefaction and processing technologies
  • Gas treatment laboratory
  • Laboratory for catalytic and adsorption processes
  • Laboratory for reagents and products quality
Center for gas storage technologies
  • Laboratory for UGS wells surveys and operation
  • Laboratory for UGS technologies
Corporate R&D Center for tubular goods development
  • Material analysis laboratory
  • Laboratory for welding technologies, assembling and repair of factory-made goods
Center for development and operation of fields located in the European part of Russia
  • Laboratory for design and analysis of field development and operation in the European part of Russia
Center for MRB development
  • Laboratory for hydrogeology and hydro mineral feedstock
Center for Standardization
  • TC23/MTC523 Secretariat Department
Corporate R&D Center for corrosion monitoring and processing
  • Laboratory for protective and thermal insulation coatings
  • Laboratory for atmospheric and internal corrosion protection
  • Laboratory for predictive damage modeling of UGSS long-distance lines and areal facilities
  • Laboratory for physical & chemical modeling and prevention of corrosion mechanical damage of UGSS facilities
  • Laboratory for cathodic protection, diagnostics and corrosion monitoring tools
Corporate R&D Center for welding and weld examination
  • Laboratory for engineering works and services
  • Mechanical testing laboratory
  • Non-destructive testing laboratory
  • Laboratory for repair technologies using welding and related processes
Corporate R&D Center for construction, operation and repair
  • Laboratory for materials and products designed for pipeline construction and repair
  • Laboratory for methodical support of pre-start and start up operations
  • Laboratory for pipeline special design
  • Laboratory for pipeline construction, operation and repair equipment and technologies
Center for well construction and repair technologies
  • Laboratory for field and UGS wells efficiency enhancement and repair
  • Laboratory for development of well construction technologies
  • Laboratory for development of process liquids for well drilling and repair
Corporate R&D Center for environmental safety and efficiency
  • Laboratory for biotechnological surveys
Pilot test center
  • Test room
  • Non-destructive testing laboratory
  • Machine shop
  • Department for experimental studies
  • Department for engineering support of experimental studies and tests
  • Production and engineering department
  • Core handling room
  • Automation, instruments and controls room
Buildings and structures operation service
  • Maintenance and operations area
  • Gas and boiler equipment operation and repair shop
  • Repair and technical maintenance shop for ACS, ventilation and conditioning
  • General service department


Key business activities of research laboratories:

Infrastructure for applied experimental surveys and tests

  • Metallographic studies and mechanical tests of specimens, including load and corrosion tests;
  • Tests of new welding technologies, welding equipment and materials;
  • Studies and tests of coating protective properties;
  • Studies and tests of corrosion protection systems;
  • NDT equipment testing and diagnostics;
  • Studies of thermal and physical parameters of heat-insulated pipes;
  • Studies, tests and formulating of oils and lubricants applied at gas industry facilities;
  • Studies on development of industrial technologies to produce sulfurous cement, modified sulfur and their derivatives;
  • Studies of core samples and formation fluids;
  • Development of biopreparation production technologies for hydrocarbon spill response;
  • Technology development to produce feed protein from natural gas;
  • Studies of the methods that determine chemical composition and quality factors of gas industry feedstock and products;
  • Studies of hydrocarbon feedstock treatment technologies;
  • Studies of synthetic liquid hydrocarbon production technologies;
  • Development, laboratory studies and tests of cement slurries and mud fluids;
  • Study of circulation processes of gas liquid flows, fine-tuning of well operation technologies at the late stage of field development.
Laboratories and test sites of the PTF accommodate over 1300 units of lab, test, experimental and measurement equipment, and over 60 test and research installations. PTF territory also encompasses equipment of structural subdivisions committed to NSEE “VNIIGAZ —Certificate” CERTIFICATION CENTER, and a corporate core storage.




Pilot Test Center

Description of the performed works

Pilot Test Center (hereinafter referred to as PTC) pertains to the category of Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC subdivisions that work on an internal order principle and render fee-based services (works) for scientific, auxiliary and administrative Company’s departments. PTC is a multifunctional structural subdivision that comprehensively addresses research and engineering tasks different in terms of complexity.



Main PTC business activities:

  • Upgrading test installations, test and lab equipment, engineering systems, metering instruments and automatics;
  • Elaboration of design, process and production documentation to create (manufacture) new prototype products, test installations, test and lab equipment, as well as upgrade and re-equip existing facilities;
  • Participation in paperwork required for operation of installations and units;
  • Participation in assembly, hook-up and commissioning of equipment, installations, units;
  • Production of prototypes, installations and units, special-purpose process and test equipment;
  • Performing tests and experimental studies in compliance with programs and procedures of the Company’s scientific subdivisions;
  • Technical assistance of research works with the use of experimental, test and lab equipment;
  • Maintenance of experimental, test, lab and production equipment.



Description of production infrastructure

The test room is fitted with 23 equipment units to test material specimens, and 7 test benches.Workplaces of design and engineering staff are provided with computer-assisted design engineering tools. Mechanical shop is fitted with over 130 blank, milling, turning, tool and cutter grinding, locksmith, welding, painting, drying, lifting equipment units, as well as non-destructive testing tools.
PTC technological capacity, highly-skilled regular labor force, engineers and technical assistants afford an opportunity to develop and produce items within a full work cycle, providing required quality and reliability in compliance with regulations, specifications and Rostechnadzor rules.



Bench units and installations

Equipment operated in PTC:
  • Synthetic liquid hydrocarbons production unit with syngas set;
  • Test bench for checking tightness of threaded connections of oil pipelines;
  • Test bench to study steel resistance to sulfide stress corrosion cracking by framework method;
  • Unit to test sulfide stress cracking resistance of metal specimens during tensile loading in corrosive solutions;
  • Combined loading test bench for oil and gas pipes and threaded connections;
  • Unit to test shell Claus off-gas treating catalysts;
  • Test bench to study gas liquid flow circulation processes in hydrocarbon production, transmission and treatment systems;
  • Autoclave units.

Equipment operated by scientific subdivisions:
Fermentative test bench to cultivate methane-oxidizing microorganisms (Corporate R&D Center for environmental safety and energy efficiency). Test bench to produce broad-spectrum biological preparations (Corporate R&D Center for environmental safety and energy efficiency). “Hermitage” calibration unit to check, calibrate, align, regulate and define tolerance of flow meters, liquid meters, flow rate-volume (mass) transducers for liquids of different types, including rotary meter (Corporate R&D Center for metrological support).
Bench to test and perform diagnostics of NDT equipment (Corporate R&D Center for corrosion monitoring and protection). Test bench to study process and operation parameters of separation equipment (Center for gas production technologies). Test bench to study hydromechanical parameters of well strainers (Center for gas production technologies).