No. 4, 2011


Oil of Russia magazine talks to Sergey Sergeev, Director of LUKOIL Museum

In 2003 Anatoly Moskalenko, Head of LUKOIL's Main Human Resources Division, Alexander Vasilenko, Head of LUKOIL's Public Relations Department, and Albert Galustov, Head of the Council of LUKOIL Veterans, came forward to LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov with an initiative to establish the corporate museum, and a half years after the exhibit took its first visitors. Since its birth, the Museum has been gradually growing, and today it has long gone beyond the boundaries of the small exhibit originally set up in LUKOIL's main building. Now the LUKOIL Museum can rightly be called not only a cultural, but also an educational center that carries out enlightening activity both in Russia and abroad.  

Q: It will be difficult to cover all the extensive and laborious work that the LUKOIL Museum does in just one interview. How would you describe the specific of the Museum's activity?

A: Being an important element of corporate culture, a universal center for communications, the LUKOIL Museum preserves the best traditions of the oil and gas industry, thereby ensuring the continuity of the various generations of oilmen. In accordance to the Company's Corporate Culture Rules, we regularly organize recognition and retirement ceremonies, ceremonies of awarding and honoring the heroes of the day, excursions, thematic evenings, and others.

I would mention scientific-educational activity as the second main area of the LUKOIL Museum's activity. This is promoted not only by the possibility of showing assembled exhibits, but also by the Museum's rather extensive technical equipment, which makes it possible to use the museum as a training center for holding sessions with young oilfield specialists, school children, and students. For several years, we have been regularly holding training sessions with students from the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas to study the history of the Russian oil business and corporate culture. Students from Moscow State University, the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, and other leading Russian higher educational institutions also frequently visit our Museum.

We pay considerable attention to the museum-exhibition activities. During its existence, the museum has stepped over the limits of the permanent exhibition and actively involved in the implementation of exhibition projects.

A serious challenge to the professionalism of the Museum's staff was the exhibition project "Oil of Russia - traditions and modernity", implemented in 2006. A unique exhibition on the history of the Russian oil industry revealing its role and place in the world today was demonstrated to the numerous visitors in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khanty-Mansiysk, Tyumen, Perm, and Nizhny Novgorod.

In 2008, a monument to the prominent Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov was erected opposite LUKOIL's central office in Moscow. To the opening ceremony of the monument, the LUKOIL Museum dedicated an exhibition called "The first engineer of Russia" that was devoted to the life and work of our great compatriot. Then, the exhibition continued working at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In 2009, in honor of the 130th anniversary of the "Nobel Brothers' Partnership for Oil Production" an exhibition on the activities of the biggest Russian oil company of the 19th-early 20th centuries which made an invaluable contribution to the country's oil industry was opened at the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia.

In March 2011, the LUKOIL Museum prepared an exhibition on the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the patriarch of the Russian oil industry Nikolay Baybakov.

In September this year, we celebrated the 140th birthday anniversary of the founder of the Russian oil geology and organizer of the oil and gas education Ivan Gubkin. An exposition of the academician's personal belonging provided by the Russian State Oil and Gas University named after the famous scientist was held in LUKOIL.

In addition, several times a year the Museum holds exhibitions telling about the new achievements of the Company, as well as significant events in the subsidiaries. As a rule, no corporate event or large meeting goes without thematic exhibitions.

Q: Who is helping to define the LUKOIL Museum's policy and its further development?

A: LUKOIL's Museum Council, which is made up of veteran oil workers, representatives of LUKOIL management, independent historians, and authoritative representatives of leading state museums, is making a significant contribution to forming a unified corporate museum policy. Urgent issues concerning improvement of the Museum's affairs, replenishment of the corporate collection, and creation of new museums and temporary exhibitions are discussed and resolved at the Council's sittings.

Communication with colleagues from other museums is also constantly expanding: training sessions and seminars are held regularly, in which members of the Association of Scientific-Technical Museums of the Russian Committee of the International Museum Council and employees of other corporate museums participate.

At present, LUKOIL's museum network includes more than 20 museums located in Russia and abroad. I will note that the museums of LUKOIL-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez, LUKOIL-Permnefteorgsintez, LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft, and LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas AD, LUKOIL-PERM's Museum of History of Perm Oil, and RITEK's Museum of the History of Oil Production in the Lower Volga area are carrying out active exhibition activity.

Q: Are the Museum's collections still being replenished and how are you disposing of your rich repositories?

A: One of the main areas of the LUKOIL Museum's activity, like any other museum, is replenishing the museum funds. It stands to reason that the main objective of our collection is to document the Company's history, so we try to replenish our funds with exhibits related to LUKOIL's activity and the Company's achievements. The Museum gathers information relating to the technology, often unique and exclusive, used to implement particular projects. In addition to documenting the Company's history, we also gather information about the history of the Russian oil and gas industry. It is important for all of us to know our traditions, the names of the founding fathers, famous Russian engineers, scientists, and leaders of the oil industry.

We are proud of the fact that the Museum's repositories already have more than 4,000 exhibits. And, according to the leading specialists of the oil industry, this collection is one of the best in the country on the history of the oil industry. This makes it possible for us to make efficient use of the museum items and information gathered to implement our exhibition projects. And I hope that in the future they will occupy a worthy place in the large exhibition we hope to make accessible to the public in a few years.

People are showing constant interest in LUKOIL's museums and we are happy to show our exhibits, which are often used to illustrate textbooks, historical chronicles, books, and magazine articles. The employees of our LUKOIL museums assist creative groups in making documentary and feature films and television programs.


Q: In 2011, the Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This naturally places a special responsibility on the Museum. Tell us about the events the Museum is involved in this year and its plans for the future.

A: Within the framework of the anniversary celebrations in different regions, we are presenting an exposition that shows the scope of the Company's activity and the regions it operates in, both in Russia and abroad. It stands to reason that we are highlighting the achievements we can be truly proud of and the unique progresses and solutions that are being used to implement the Company's projects. We are trying to show the contribution LUKOIL is making to the economy of every country it works in. We are talking about the social projects the Company is involved in. We are telling about the cooperation with leading world corporations and trying to show the level of interaction that has been achieved today with the largest world brands both in the oil and gas industry and beyond it.

We are trying through our work to reveal the Company's corporate spirit and show that LUKOIL is a unified team of professionals regardless of where its employees may be: in Russia or beyond. During the anniversary celebrations in 2011, the Museum also carried out travelling projects, one of which was LUKOIL's 20th Anniversary exhibition which was displayed in Geneva and Brussels.

The Museum is currently making preparations for a large exhibition to be held in the State Kremlin Palace, where the main culminating event in the Company's anniversary celebrations will take place on November 18, 2011 with the participation of LUKOIL's employees and honored guests.

Talking about the nearest future, we plan to expand the area of the permanent exhibition. The corporate museum should become a public institution for everybody. That is why the Company reached a decision on the allocation of new floor space in a newly built administrative building with a separate entrance from the street.

I will emphasize that our Museum's main credo is constant self-improvement and development. We still have many more ideas and accomplishments planned for the future, but our prime objective is supporting the Company, active cooperation with veterans and young LUKOIL specialists. I am sure that in the near future there is a lot of interesting work on the implementation of numerous projects and further development of the corporate museum network.         

 - Maria Kukhtar

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Oil of Russia, No. 4, 2011
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