First Russian Borehole Tractor To Be Created With the Support of the New Industry Foundation


New Industry Ventures (a joint venture fund of Gazprom Neft, Gazprombank, RVC, and VEB Ventures) is implementing an investment project to create the first serial complex of Russia equipment for maintenance geophysical studies of horizontal wells.

New Industry will allocate funds for implementing the L-Petro company's project, which specializes in the manufacture of high-tech equipment for geophysical surveys and well interventions. With the Fund's support, the company will develop several modifications of downhole tractors[1]and a set of devices for servicing horizontal wells and began their serial production. The volume of investments from the Fund will amount to 160 million roubles.

The project aims to create a line of innovative Russian equipment and launch a high-tech business to sell and service products. To date, a prototype of a downhole tractor has been manufactured, R&D has been completed, bench tests have been successfully passed. In the next four years, serial production of various modifications of downhole tractors will begin. The equipment is planned to be produced in four modifications (of the lever, wheeled, hydraulic, and of short resource), designed to solve various technological problems.

L-Petro downhole tractors will fully meet domestic customers' requirements and compete with the world's leading analogs in terms of essential characteristics. The price advantage will also be provided: the cost of both the device itself and the operations performed with its help will be two or more times lower than that of foreign competitors[2]...

The support of the “New Industry” will allow expanding the pilot production and machine tool park and launching a business to sell products in several regions of Russia to create a network of service centers. The mass production of the first modification of the downhole tractor will begin in 2021. The output of subsequent models is planned to start before 2024.

“Traditionally, the oil and gas industry has been a driver and, in some cases, a base for the development of related industries. Focusing on the needs of the oil and gas sector, Russian companies can purposefully work to create innovations, having the opportunity to test their engineering and digital solutions in our fields,” said Vadim Yakovlev, Deputy General Director for Exploration and Production of Gazprom Neft.

“Together with our venture capital fund partners, we monitor many domestic innovative developments. We chose L-Petro for investment for a reason. The team has over 40 years of experience in geophysical instrumentation. The project team is faced with an ambitious task to meet the fuel and energy complex's needs with integrated domestic solutions that will surpass the existing analogs,” said Alexander Stepanov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprombank.

“The deal with L-Petro is the second investment of our joint fund, which was launched just a year ago. The attracted investments will significantly accelerate the development of the product and move to its early implementation in Russia's regions with the creation of a network of service centers. I am confident that the project will be able to realize its potential not only in the home market but also abroad,” commented the Deputy General Director and Investment Director of RVC Alexey Basov.

“A significant part of minerals are hard to recover, and the share of horizontal wells is rapidly increasing: more than eight times over the last ten years. The Russian Federation's mining industry needs breakthrough technologies, and these developments must be Russian. The solutions offered by L-Petro are competitive not only in the Russian market but also in comparison with foreign counterparts. We hope that this investment project will help the development of the entire industry,” said Oleg Teplov, CEO of VEB Ventures


[1] A downhole tractor is a device used to deliver tools and equipment to horizontal sections of wells for technical maintenance and repair and conduct geophysical surveys (e.g., electrical, acoustic, radioactive, electromagnetic, etc.).

[2] Downhole tractor manufactured by L-Petro will surpass foreign counterparts in maximum tractive effort. Besides, the device will be equipped with an intelligent control system that will increase the efficiency of solving technological problems in complicated well-related sections. The cost of equipment, operations performed by it, and the cost of owning a Russian device are significantly lower than foreign models.

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