MIOGE 2015: A Trip Into the History of Russian Oil & Gas Production

June 24, 2015

This year the MIOGE / RPGC exhibition and congress coincide with the 150-year anniversary of the beginning of gas production in Russia. In light of this fact, the MIOGE 2015 organizers prepared a special project entitled "Oil and Gas – Russia: History, People, Future". This exhibit brings together unique materials related to the history, the present and the future of developments in the Russian oil and gas industry.

Part of Russia's oil and gas history is showcased in museum presentations at stands hosted by Gazprom subsidiaries: the Gazprom dobycha Astrakhan museum; Gazprom dobycha Orenburg museum, Gazprom Transgaz Moscow museum and the Gazprom VNIIGAZ museum of history.

At the Gazprom dobycha Orenburg museum, visitors can view a bust of drilling master Stepan Ivanov, whose work brigade struck gas at well No. 13 in November 1966 at Orenburg.

A glass case at the stand holds a telephone from the 1970s and a worn "Luzhkov" cap. These personal items belonged to Rem Ivanovich Vyakhiryev who headed the Dedurov gas field department. Museum curator Olga Pyatina said that Gazprom dobycha Orenburg is proud of this early pioneer and other merited employees such as Viktor Chernomyrdin, who in 1973 was tapped to head the Orenburg gas refinery. Today the Orenburg refinery is the only one in Russia that produces helium and orant.

Gazprom dobycha Orenburg is one of the most decorated of the Soviet period, holding both the Order of Lenin and the "Golden Mercury".

A small, old book from the Soviet era, "Magistral of Seven Flags" tells about the cooperation of seven socialist states to build the 2,750 km Soyuz gas pipeline across which gas from Orenburg was first exported in the 1980s.

Eleven half-meter tall metal keys were presented to the company's management in 1978 with the launch of 11 gas treatment plants, which prepared gas at a maximum annual level of 48.7bn cubic meters. Since then, production levels have decreased to 18bn cubic meters a year. A significant portion of the gas fields have already been depleted: of 2 trillion cubic meters of "blue fuel", only 620bn are left. But the company remains optimistic with plans to continue producing gas through 2030.

The Gazprom Transgaz Moscow museum is scheduled to open in 2016 and is still collecting exhibits. But visitors to MIOGE have a chance to see some of what the museum will contain. The significance of the Saratov-Moscow pipeline is carried in the slogan of times of war: "We will fulfil the military order and deliver Saratov gas to Moscow !"

Gazprom Transgaz Moscow museum expert Vera Yuryeva said some of the equipment used to build this pipeline was imported from abroad as part of the Lend-Lease program during the war. This included important equipment like gas motor No. 1, from Cooper Bessemer. But spare parts for this equipment had to be replaced on site, and so each workshop had its own blacksmiths. Anvils used by these blacksmiths are currently in transport to the museum.