This year’s edition of the Young Vision Award-2016 contest concluded on 24 - 25 October at the Freiberg Mining Academy Technical University in the German city of Freiberg. The main objective of the competition is to bring together students from leading German and Russian technical universities and to encourage them to look for innovative ways to solve the current environmental problems and issues in the oil and gas industry.
The 2016 round of the Award focused on the theme of Innovative Technological Ideas for Exploration of Hydrocarbons with Consideration of the Environmental Responsibility of E&P Companies.
Christoph Bender and Maximilian Kaeferstein from the Freiberg Mining Academy won the main prizes for their project, SMART HYDROCYCLON Shifting from Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0. Their work was dedicated to scientific research in the field of oil and water separation directly in the drilling well.
The annual Young Vision Award contest has been running for four years now and is organized jointly by Gazprom International, a PJSC Gazprom subsidiary company specialized in upstream projects outside the Russian Federation, and Wintershall Russland GmbH, an affiliate of the German oil and gas Holding Wintershall and its representative in Russia. This year students from more than 20 universities were invited to take part in the contest; the selection process ran from March to July.
In accordance with the rules of the competition, the participants shortlisted to compete in the final round presented their innovative ideas on enhancing the efficiency of exploration of hydrocarbons while ensuring a sensitive approach to the environment for the consideration by the jury. At the same time, they needed to convince the experts not only of the innovative and creative qualities of their work, but also of their economic benefits and value.
This year the jury included Valery Cholovsky, Gazprom International Technical Director, Valerie Bosse, Wintershall Global Exploration & New Exploration Vice-President, Daria Karasalihovic-Sedlar, Associate Professor of the University of Zagreb, and Jean-Jacques Royer, Head of the CNRS centre in Nancy, France.
Commenting on the results of the competition, Andrey Fick, Gazprom International Managing Director and CEO, said, “I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude to all participants of this year’s Young Vision Award contest, and to congratulate the winners on this much-deserved victory. I sincerely hope that you will not abandon your scientific research and will continue to make new discoveries for the benefit of developing the oil and gas industry and preserving our natural riches and resources.”
According to Valery Cholovsky, the contest’s participants have once again demonstrated an innovative and creative approach, and have presented a new perspective on the ways of dealing with environmental problems. “Combining such fresh ideas with our considerable experience has already proven to be a recipe for success. This is how several of the Award winners have already succeeded in realizing their ideas in real life.”
His jury colleague Valerie Bosse also expressed her satisfaction with the level of the projects presented to the jury. “Yet again, as was the case with the previous competitions, I am thrilled at the multitude of ideas and the creative approach demonstrated by our young scientist. Innovative ideas and investments into scientific research are vital for international success. We are very happy that this Award allows important signals to be sent in the right direction.”
The first round of Young Vision Award took place in 2013, with three students from Tomsk Polytechnic University, O. Bulgakova, I. Hadkevich and D. Rozhkova, winning the competition with their project, The Environmental Impact of Oil Extraction on the Arctic Shelf.
The following year the competition was won by M. Müller from the Freiberg Technical University for his project Using the Brinell Hardness Test on Shale Formation Samples for Advanced Investigation in the Field of Hydraulic Stimulation.
R. Lyubimenko and A. Zakolodkin from the Nizhny Novgorod State University and the Kstov Petrochemical Technical Institute respectively won the Award in 2015 with their project Phenolic Wastewater Treatment Using Combined Method of Absorption and Wet Air Oxidation.
Employee and staff training have always been matters of great importance for the Gazprom Group, a global energy company. This is why a series of programmes dedicated specifically to staff training and education, including in the field of environment protection, is currently being undertaken in each of its affiliate companies.
In 2014, to follow the success of the Year of the Environment organized by Gazprom, Gazprom International announced its plans to launch the Econet project. Econet is the company’s proprietary network of initiatives, policies, and technologies designed to safeguard the environment and all those who inhabit it, as well as to ensure the safety and security of Gazprom International employees, primarily in the regions of the company’s presence.
Wintershall Holding GmbH is a 100% affiliate of the chemical BASF group, which is mainly involved in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. The company’s main office is based in Kassel. The company is involved in projects in Russia, as well as in Western Europe, Northern Africa, Southern Africa and the Middle East. It has approximately 2,000 employees in 50 countries. Wintershall is currently Germany’s largest oil and gas company, operating on the global market.
Gazprom International and Wintershall Holding are currently involved in the joint realization of the Wingate, Winchelsea and Sillimanite project on the North Sea shelf, as well as the С96 and С97 oil concessions in Libya.