The startup LABADVANCE will receive investments from the New Industry Venture Fund to create Russia’s first laboratory complex for predicting the efficiency of enhanced oil recovery methods. Created by Skoltech Professor Aleksei Cheremisin and Research Scientist Evgeny Shilov, LABADVANCE made it into the finals of Gazprom Neft’s Industrix project accelerator. The technology will improve the reliability and speed of core and reservoir fluid laboratory tests which are vital to making the right investment decisions and ensuring economically viable field development.
LABADVANCE, a Russian developer of a lab research service for core and reservoir fluids containing oil, gas and water, patented a method of laboratory tests on microfluidic chips − physical twins of the core − that reflect field characteristics in minor detail and are used in experiments to evaluate the efficiency of improved and enhanced oil recovery methods for a specific field. The oil and gas industry attaches particular importance to the outcomes of the lab research stage which are crucial for the efficiency of both investment and production.
Microfluidic technology will help reduce costs and enhance the accuracy of hydraulic fracturing and other oil well stimulation techniques while ensuring tenfold and fivefold reduction in testing duration and costs, respectively. The technology will also come in handy for physicochemical studies of fluid properties. Overall, LABADVANCE’s solution is comparable to its international equivalents in terms of research speed and accuracy.
The Fund’s investment in the project will be used to improve the product and expand production capacity by building up the fleet of microfluidic installations, among other things. In the longer term, LABADVANCE plans to create its own microfluidic chip fabrication facilities.
Alexey Vashkevich, director for technological development at Gazprom Neft:
“The “open innovations” model has become an effective tool for technological development of Gazprom Neft, as it helps extensively involve innovators in dealing with the industry’s challenges. Our support for an INDUSTRIX accelerator project is a real example of selecting and supporting promising technological solutions all the way from testing to investment.”
Alexey Cheremisin, CEO of LABADVANCE:
“Our microfluidic research technology helps make enhanced oil recovery and oil well stimulation techniques more effective. With accurately selected chemicals, you can increase the profitability of projects while significantly reducing the negative impact on the environment. The project idea that emerged at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology was supported at an early stage by the Skoltech Translational Research and Innovation Program (STRIP), which helped our team to move on from a research idea to an innovative technology embodied in pilot projects. With the support of the Skolkovo Foundation, we built the first prototype, and thanks to Gazprom Neft’s INDUSTRIX accelerator, we could field-test the technology and see how it fits in the company’s business processes. We will use the investment to scale up and refine our technology and create new products.”
LABADVANCE is a finalist of Gazprom Neft’s INDUSTRIX technology accelerator where the company updated its business model, tested the product, and identified its future customer. All this has allowed LABADVANCE to receive venture financing and support from the New Industry Fund.