On the 12th of February 2016, a scientific seminar titled “Well Construction in the North” dedicated to commemorate the 70th anniversary of late Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences Viktor Feodorovich Buslaev was held in Ukhta State Technical University (USTU). The seminar was organized by SPE Timan-Pechora Professional Section with immense contribution from Ukhta State Technical University SPE Student Chapter. It was attended by students, teachers, USTU alumni and ex-colleagues of Viktor Feodorovich Buslaev. Employees of the university museum and library complex prepared an exhibition of books, scientific papers and photos of the late Professor which were also showcased at the event. Also, a book about him based on the series "I remain with you ..." by Tamara Novikova a renowned local journalist was launched. Alongside the seminar participants, representatives of enterprises and organizations presented reports which were closely related or based on the scientific work of late Professor Buslaev over several years of his professional life. According to the opinion of his colleagues, Viktor F. Buslaev represents a whole epoch of knowledge linked to improving hydrocarbon production technologies. His legacy which brought an economic benefit in the amount of 15 billion rubles included;
- 86 copyright certificates and 33 patents,
- 240 scientific papers,
- 15 research grants and 18 industry related development initiatives.
SYMBIOSIS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Victor Feodorovic Buslaev created, developed and brought into production rotary-turbine technological drilling complex, natural bent wiring, directional, horizontal and multilateral well drilling in the North of Russia. The technique of well curvature prediction based on the rock mechanism, destruction technique to optimize cluster arrangement and construction of directional and horizontal wells taking into account environmental factors were the crème de la crème of his work as a researcher as noted by his son and successor of the late Professor’s scientific ideas, Georgiy Buslaev (PhD). He participated in the creating and developing two generations of technology for the construction of wells in frozen soils, he developed a well design for the production of abnormal oil, formulated the concept of improving the efficiency and environmental safety of the exploration and development of oil and gas fields in the North which included the rational use of geological and environmental factors. Fate limited his lifetime to a period less than a century as late Professor Viktor Feodorovic Buslaev lived for only 62 years but he managed to do a lot. He is still warmly and sincerely remembered by his colleagues at "Bashneft" Group and PO "Permneft" Group where he worked in the 1960s, and also by those at "PechorNIPIneft" Institute, "Komineft" Group and other enterprises in the city of Ukhta where half of his life was spent.
In 1978, as a young scientist he finished his postgraduate education at the All-Soviet Educational Research Institute of drilling equipments, he later defended his doctoral thesis in 1994. In Ukhta State Technical University (USTU) Viktor Fedorovich Buslaev served as Head of the Department of well drilling from 2002 - 2006. He also held the post of Vice-Rector for scientific work at the same university. During his time in the university, he prepared 12 candidates of science titleholders and three doctors of science. Late Viktor Feodorovich Buslaev was the head of the university’s scientific-pedagogical school "Construction of wells in the North", organizer of scientific forums related to activities of the scientific-pedagogical school, seminars of the school "Big Oil: Realities and Prospects ", International Youth Scientific Conference “SeverGeoEcoTech”, headed USTU drilling technology center, was a member of the expert council of the Higher Certification Commission of Russia, and an academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
AN ELEGANT SOLUTION
However, as repeatedly pointed out by the seminar participants - colleagues, associates, and students of the late Professor Viktor Feodorovich Buslaev, his main goal was the possibilities of practical application of his scientific works, discoveries and innovations. As a true scientist, he was distinguished by the paradoxical and creative mind that allowed him to find a simple and elegant solution to complex industrial problems. Here is what the head of Design and Monitoring at Yarega oilfield LLC "LUKOIL-Engineering" Yuri Petrovich Konoplev (PhD) had to say about him; “Victor F. Buslaev was one of the pioneers in drilling deviated and horizontal wells in oil fields. He made a great contribution to the wiring of underground wells at the Yarega field”.
Since the development of thermal mining began in 1968, groundwater wells were drilled without a control path. Back in those days, there was no equipment in the mine’s design to control and correct the trajectory of underground wells. When directional survey of underground wells in the 1T-2 unit was carried out in 2001, it revealed that all the wells drilled passed below the water-oil contact. General Director of JSC «Bitran» L.G. Grutsky exclaimed: "Where have we been drilling into these past 30 years!?" To correct this situation, Viktor F. Buslaev proposed a simple but ingenious solution: to control the trajectory of vertically drilled subterranean wells using a pressure gauge.
During the period from December 2002 till early 2012 before the advent of directional drilling systems, all underground wells in Yarega oilfield were drilled using path control method proposed by late Professor Viktor F. Buslaev which immediately impacted on the levels of oil production. For example: in blocks 1T-1 NS-3 and South-2bis NS-1 underground wells were drilled using trajectory control on the pressure gauge. During 12 years of operation, the oil recovery factor of the blocks exceeded 0.6, a level which was not achieved prior to that invention at the Yarega field. Additional drilling of directional wells which was typical for thermal mining development of the field wasn’t required after that.
OPERATION AT A DISTANCE
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Rudnitskiy, Director General of OAO "Usinskgeoneft" recalled an interesting situation in his life: “For more than thirty years I have been working in the field of drilling, and on numerous occasions I had to solve both complex organizational and technological problems which not always easy and smooth. Many people tend to forget, but in the human mind forever will remain interesting creative solutions which helped to find a way out of seemingly hopeless situations. The brightest pages in my memory will forever be the practical advice I got from Viktor F. Buslaev on the use of non-standard layout of the drill string at the bottom of a well trajectory so as to correct tolerance range whenever a question regarding its arises during the drilling process. While I was serving as chief engineer at OOO NK "Recher-Komi" Oil Company in 2001, in the process of directional well drilling with assistance from a specialized service company, we encountered a problem whereby we clearly couldn’t determine the well bottom limit.
Numerous consultations with experts inclined me to take action on the drilling process, which would have inevitably led to a tightening of terms and rise in the cost of drilling work. An idea came up in my mind to ask for advice from Viktor Feodorovich Buslaev ... Within an hour, I got a complete drilling program that could serve the purpose and avoid any additional cost rise while reducing workload. Late Professor Buslaev proposed to me the continuation of rotary drilling without any expensive TV system with included parts of BHA between the above-bit calibrator and intermediate ordinary drill pipe. The wellbore was in the center of the tolerance circle….Professor! As result of the successful drilling, I began to call my colleague Victor F. Buslaev a surgeon who makes complex operations from a distance”.
SCIENTISTS – PRIDE OF OUR UNIVERSITY
Many kind and emotional speeches about late Professor V.F. Buslaev were made by participants at the seminar. In the memory of friends, colleagues and students, he remains alive, energetic, and the same cheerful person who is always ready to respond to someone else's misfortune, and come to the rescue. His powerful potential, extensive scientific legacy still requires thorough and comprehensive study. Therefore, the wording of the theme of the first scientific seminar in memory of late Professor V.F. Buslaev is highly symbolic: late Professor V. F. Buslaev for many years was the head of USTU scientific-pedagogical school "Construction of wells in the North" and was in charge of the work of the sections at several scientific forums. It is obvious that the current industrial development policy of the Arctic dictates the need for productive work in this direction. In this context, such a need to hold the seminar annually was met with an unambiguous approval of the participants – “We will make every effort to make this event a tradition”. Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of the Ukhta State Technical University, Emin Zafarovich Yagubov (PhD) added that the university has always been proud of its scientists, and acquainting the youths with their achievements is its objective.
One of the participants of the seminar, dedicated to the memory of V.F. Buslaev was a Muscovite Mikhail Y. Gelfgat (PhD), a recognized expert in the field of drilling with whom the late Professor V.F. Buslaev was linked through long-term friendship and common research interests. They studied together at the graduate school while the supervisor of the PhD thesis written by V. F. Buslaev was his friend’s father Jacob Aronovich himself an outstanding scientist and among the poioneers of the domestic oil and gas drilling sector. Mikhail Y. Gelfgat spoke during the seminar about his memories of studying in graduate school with V.F. Buslaev, and after the seminar delivered a lecture to students and industry specialists on "Modern technologies to combat complications in the construction of oil and gas wells."
On the 12th of February 2016, Mikhail Yakovlevich Gelfat a recognized expert in the field of drilling delivered a lecture on the topic; “Modern technologies for tackling complications during construction of oil and gas wells” in Ukhta State Technical University (USTU) as part of the SPE Regional Lecturers framework. Issues discussed during the lecture were; Advanced technology for preventing complications during construction of wells, controlled pressure drilling, casing drilling, and well overlap technology(without sacrificing diameter). The lecture aroused great interest amongst the audience which included; industry specialists, lecturers and students of Ukhta State Technical University. During his visit, Mikhail Y. Gelfat took part in the first SPE Seminar: «Well Construction in the North» and also got to pay visits to the USTU Oil and Gas Museum and USTU Polygon.
Background: Mikhail Yakovlevich Gelfgat (PhD) is a recognized expert in the field of drilling. His work as an expert includes; five Russian patents, three US patents and more than 10 author patents. In September of 2015, he celebrated 50 years of service in the oil industry. His biography is an example of devotion to science. He began his working life in 1965 as a programmer in a laboratory of machines and mathematical studies. He then rose from being an engineer to chief design engineer in the department of drilling technology and later served as Head of the deepwater drilling sector. Heading the laboratory of well construction for special purposes is also part of his professional achievements. Since 1991, Mikhail Yakovlevich Gelfgat has been serving as Chairman Board of Directors and General Director of «Aquatic» Ltd. He also served in Weatherford as Director of Research and Development (R&D) and engineering in Russia. He has published over seventy articles and reports on drilling technology, including forty in English. In collaboration with his father Y.A. Gelfgat and Y.S. Lopatin, they published two volumes: «Innovative solutions in drilling - Lessons of the former Soviet Union» (Advanced Drilling Solutions - Lessons from the Former Soviet Union), published by PennWell Publishing in 2003.