Increasing pressure: Abramovich invested in the plasma-pulse technology from Russian developers

The billionaire has invested $3.7 million in three projects related the technology used in the oil and coal mining.
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In the laboratory of "Novas Energy Services' all asked to wear ear protectors. When tested cotton plasma explosion - in the three-meter metal tube is fed to the current 6000 - deafening sounds. In the spring of 2014 for the same experiment watched Roman Abramovich, who arrived in a business park "Rumyantsevo". Since then, billionaire has invested $ 3.7 million in three projects with the technology of plasma-pulse action, used in the oil and coal mining. According to Nikita Ageev, general director of "Novas Energy Services' if things go steadily uphill, Abramovich can give another $ 5-6 million for the development of business in Russia. "We are trying not to advertise who our shareholder. Everyone thinks that if capital Abramovich why more and sales revenue? - Says the businessman. - And it is not so, on the contrary, we are now the most important task - to show rapid growth, although we run into a crisis of the oil industry. "

An economist by training, Nikita Ageev in the early 2000s with his father, a former diplomat, advised the Russian scientists, who wanted to promote technological development in China.One of the technologies Ageev interested, and they spent $ 200,000 to buy the patent and the pilot plant generator. Plasma cleaning oil wells can increase their productivity by at least ten percent, and in some cases - by 200-300%. The hole descends tube equipped with a chain of capacitors. When a special power wire on the end of the pipe for a few thousandths of a second goes into the plasma state, which instantly turns into a gas, creating a closed space, a lot of pressure. A shock wave within the formation and at a distance up to 1500 m is formed fracture network to facilitate flow of oil into the wellbore.

General Director of "Novas Energy Services' drew an analogy with a knife: it can be used in salads or carving, and can be integrated into the machine for cutting metal. Plasma-pulse technology also can be adapted for different tasks. But to understand this, the company had to spend tens of field tests, including not too successful. Money, says Ageev, earn on another: consulting and intermediary Usluah, China-related, -.. clearing, commercial transactions, etc. "Many times wanted to stop playing - he recalls. - But when it seemed that everything has an end, it was possible to make a step forward - to successfully conduct the test or receive a request for the use of technology. "

Large order bring up to $ 500 000, in average, the company received $ 30 000-50 000 per well treatment. For example, in the fields of "Tomskneft" technology tested in the spring of 2010, the increase in production in four wells was 50%. One of them was previously closed and after the treatment began to give 2 tonnes of oil per day. "Overall, the results shown" Novas "on complex wells in Western Siberia, were above average" - assesses the Roman Tatarchuk, former Head of stimulation "Tomskneft-VNK" (now the "NOC-VTK" deputy general director of the oil company).

However, the contract was still not enough, and "Novas" had to undertake various development work and analysis of wells by conventional methods. Its revenue in 2013 was $ 1.6 million.

But get Ageevl $ 9 million from business angels and venture capital firm Canadian TechnoVita Technologies and also came with its technology to the US market.

Finding customers in the United States took Propell Technologies of Houston. For a license is required to pay 7.5% of sales, and established a separate company Novas USA, to use the name of the technology, which has already begun to publish articles in the trade press. For the first two years in the US market, Russian experts toured Texas, Louisiana, California, Dakota, Nikita Ageev he went to the other side of the Atlantic three times a year. Hoping for this term gain at least a hundred pilot and commercial orders, "Novas" partners got thirty. In the United States, explains the entrepreneur, are not thoroughly "medical history" of each well and the Russian technology to prove the effectiveness is often not enough input.

To take a break from worries, Nikita Ageev in early 2014, went with his family to Thailand. The hotel it surprised the call from the assistant of Roman Abramovich. Phone Ageev he learned in the office "Novas" and asked about the opportunities ofand meetings. "My first thought - a bad joke, - says entrepreneur. - Second: Well, maybe it's true everything was done not in vain. "

At the first meeting in Moscow, he told Abramovich about all the possibilities of application of technology of plasma-pulse action in the mining sector. Then Abramovich came to the laboratory with a team of engineers and physicists. His interested in not only cleaning oil wells, but also the idea that Ageev began to think - to use a plasma explosion of methane extraction and degassing of coal seams in order to improve safety in mines. "Georezonans" The company, founded to bring to market technology to work on methane deposits, received $ 700,000 in R & D. About $ 2 million Abramovich has invested in Dewasi, created to promote the same technology in China. And in September 2015, he allocated $ 1 million "Novas Energy Services', on which all the patents and contracts for work on vertical oil wells were transferred.

If Ageev team will be able to reach agreements in the prescribed parameters of revenue, in each of the three companies Abramovichozhet invest more from $ 500 000 to $ 2 million. In addition, in 2015 through Ervington Investments billionaire has invested nearly $ 15 million in Propell Technologies Fund for active promotion and exploitation of technology in the United States. Terms and purpose of participation in projects Nikita Ageev Abramovich's spokesman John Mann declined to comment.

"Georezonans" fulfilled the order for three degassing wells in the coal field of one of the subsidiaries of "Eurasia" and has received an order for another one (Abramovich owns a 40% stake in the holding company). This was followed by work on two wells in Kazakhstan. The amount of income of the company amounted to 20 million rubles a year and a half. In Dewasi only nonprofit pilot orders in China. Revenues from work on vertical oil wells still makes up more than half of the companies in the total income generated Ageev.

In September - December 2015 "Novas Energy Services' earned about 5 million rubles, not counting the cost of the executed and not paid at the end of the year contracts (another 2.5 million rubles). Among its customers, for example, "Tatneft" and "RussNeft".

With the money TechnoVita Technologies machiery Ageev adapted plasma-pulse technology for horizontal oil wells. Created under the project company "Novas CK" has received approximately $ 1.3 million in grants from the fund "Skolkovo". Abramovich was interested in, and this direction. "We are, no matter how strange it sounds, it was dissuaded. This is a very risky project - says Nikita Ageev. - Investment in our three companies in the earliest stages, and so were not typical for the investor. " Nevertheless, "Novas CK" has already started to promote the technology. March holidays its experts held at the fields "Ulyanovskneft". If the pilot operation will be successful, each new contract for a horizontal well can bring at least 3 million rubles in Russia and $ 100 000 for abroad.

Despite the crisis and the fall in oil prices, "Novas Energy Services' plans for 2016 to obtain contracts for 30-50 wells in Russia and 10-20 - in China, Malaysia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand and India. The contract price in Russia is now rarely exceeds $ 15,000, abroad it can reach up to $ 100 000. But the cost of generating a computerlink set has been reduced by more than 30%. Propell Technologies purchased a license also for the Mexican market, and TechnoVita Technologies - for promotion in Canada.

"The fact that we have recognized in the US, led to interest in the world - says Nikita Ageev. - In Canada, in the Arab countries and South-East Asia, we have not talked to the exit to the United States. With investor money we had hoped to make a breakthrough. If not for the crisis, we and our American partners would be chocolate. And now we ran into a solid budget sequestration. "

According to Andrei Bochkarev, executive director of the group "Novas" companies when oil prices were high, neither foreign nor Russian oil companies have not thought about technology enhanced oil recovery. Price $ 50 per barrel was "improving": there was an interest to work more efficiently than with traditional methods of stimulation. Before it fell below $ 40 a barrel, it was possible to sign seven new contracts. "Now, it is well understood" why ", but the question of" how "the deficit financing of the answer is no," - sums up Bochkarev.

It remains to hope that the Conservatives in the oil companies will be solved soon to change. Then the "Novas Energy Services' with technology, comparable to the effect of hydraulic fracturing, but 10 times cheaper to get a chance at the scale of implementation. On hand to her that traditional methods of enhanced oil recovery in Russia promoted American Oilfield Services (such as Halliburton). Now their prices are tied to the dollar, it has become too high. "It is important now cheaper ways to maintain production levels in an environment where there is freezing new drilling due to low oil prices - said Piotr Lukyanov, managing partner of the investment fund Phystech Ventures. - Demand are technologies that increase the recovery of oil wells in general, and especially older and low-rate ".

According to the terms of the investment transaction revenues "Novas Energy Service" in 2017 should be closer to 200 million rubles. "Last time Arkadievich with Roman and his team we saw in the fall - said Ageev. - Now meet - like talking about abstract things. Investors do not Telegramum. It is necessary to come up with a result - good, average, poor, but the actual - and discuss strategy, building on it. The fact that the result has not disappointed investors, and we are thrown all the forces. "