50th anniversary of CODD

  • Heads of CODD
  • April 12, 2011

    Today the Central Operations and Dispatch Department (CODD) of Gazprom celebrated its 50th anniversary.

    CODD dispatch room, 2011

    CODD dispatch room, 2011

    CODD is the backbone of the branchy Unified Gas Supply System unparalleled in the world. It coordinates operation of the complex engineering system encompassing gas production, processing, transmission and underground storage facilities to assure reliable and sustained natural gas supplies to Russian and foreign consumers.

    1944 is considered the year of the USSR gas industry inception marked by the launch of the Saratov – Moscow gas trunkline construction. In July 1946 natural gas from the Yelshanskoye gas field arrived in Moscow.

    Saratov – Moscow gas pipeline construction, 1944

    Saratov – Moscow gas pipeline construction, 1944

    Intense natural gas production began in the mid-1950s. In parallel, the need emerged to create underground gas storage (UGS) facilities that would cover and flatten out the consumption fluctuations.

    In order to coordinate operation of the increasingly complex system for natural gas production, transmission and storage, a special subdivision had to be set up to control natural gas flows.

    In 1960 the efforts on setting up the Integrated Dispatch and Control Center (IDCC) under the USSR Glavgaz were initiated pursuant to the Order by the General Directorate for the Gas Industry under the USSR Council of Ministers and the Letter by the USSR Ministry of Finance. April 12, 1961 is considered the official birthday of the CODD as the IDCC under Glavgaz was established on that very day. It was also the day of the first space flight by Yury Gagarin.

    Since April 12 round-the-clock monitoring and control over gas transmission hasn’t ceased for a minute over 50 years.

    Gas trunkline construction, 1970s

    Gas trunkline construction, 1970s

    In 1973 the IDCC was transformed into the Dispatch and Control Center (DCC) for the USSR Unified Gas Supply System. The UGSS length was some 84 thousand kilometers then.

    1978 was marked by setting up the Process Communications Center on the basis of the dispatch and control communications service. The DCC adopted the automated system for process data retrieval, transfer, processing and display required for the long-term control of the intensely developing Unified Gas Supply System.

    In 1990 following the reorganization of the USSR Gas Industry Ministry into the State Gas Concern Gazprom, the DCC for the USSR UGSS was renamed the Operations and Dispatch Center (ODC) under State Gas Concern Gazprom. In addition, the ODC was granted the authority to plan and arrange natural gas supplies throughout the country.

    CODD dispatch room, 1990s

    CODD dispatch room, 1990s

    In the first half of the 1990s the new ODC office (present Gazprom’s headquarters at 16 Nametkina Street) was remodeled and equipped with cutting-edge computing equipment: the local computing network and automated workplaces were created and continuous communication was arranged with Gazprom’s specialized subdivisions.

    In 1994 Boris Posyagin was named head of the ODC and still holds the office. A year later, the ODC computerized the UGSS dispatch and control process. The handwritten supervision logs with records of dispatch operations were replaced by electronic logs.

    The present name Central Operations and Dispatch Department (CODD) was given to the structural unit in 2003.

    Nowadays, the CODD is the supreme body for Russia’s UGSS facilities dispatch and control. The length of gas trunklines in Russia exceeds 160 thousand kilometers and is unparalleled in the world. Gazprom also supervises 25 UGS facilities with the working gas volume of more than 60 billion cubic meters. The CODD is in charge for gas supplies to domestic consumers and for gas exports to more than 30 countries. The Department employs some 100 people. The CODD operates on a four-shift basis and maintains round-the-clock control over gas production, transmission and storage facilities as well as supervises gas transmission flows in the real-time mode.

    CODD dispatch room, 2000s

    CODD dispatch room, 2000s

    It should be noted that advancement of gas supplies beyond Russia triggered the necessity to enhance control over gas flows abroad. Two dispatch and control centers were opened in Berlin and Sofia. These centers daily send gas supply requests to the CODD from European consumers at 6 am and control their fulfillment. In Russia alone, the average gas transmission distance exceeds 2,500 kilometers, while the transmission distance between the northern fields of Western Siberia and the outermost importing countries such as France and Italy is more than 5 thousand kilometers. Therefore, gas flows through the gas transmission system for 5 to 6 days.

    The growing cross-influence of countries increased the importance of dispatch and control as the basis of cooperation among the countries supplying, transiting and consuming gas, while supervising the production and transmission processes. Gazprom entered into bilateral and multilateral dispatch and control agreements. Consolidation of efforts enables to respond more rapidly to changes in gas supplies to consuming countries, to perform comprehensive scheduled maintenance in a coordinated fashion and timely pre-arrange gas consumption and transmission amounts. The dispatch personnel from Gazprom and transiting companies carry out regular emergency drills with the use of computer simulators.

    Each of Gazprom’s production facilities has a dispatcher unit

    Each of Gazprom’s production facilities has a dispatcher unit

    A dispatcher’s work is especially intense and significant during cold weather periods when gas consumption rises significantly. To promptly respond to the gas withdrawal shifts, the CODD automatically retrieves data from the Russian Meteorological Center.

    The CODD should constantly maintain the required level of process gas in trunklines to sustain the working pressure and, accordingly, to provide gas transmission most efficiently.

    Besides, Gazprom can sharply increase gas supplies to foreign consumers having difficulties with other gas sources. The load on the CODD is also increased due to the Russian Regions Gasification Program being implemented by Gazprom that provokes an increase in gas consumption.

    Current CODD abilities enable both to control UGSS operation and ensure information support for essential decision making. Dispatch room during teleconference with Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev, June 25, 2010

    Current CODD abilities enable both to control UGSS operation and ensure information support for essential decision making. Dispatch room during teleconference with Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev, June 25, 2010

    Gazprom constantly improves the CODD facilities to enhance the management efficiency of the ever expanding gas trunkline system of Gazprom. In general, the CODD adopted automation in many processes and replaced equipment over the last decade. The efforts will be continued in 2011, on-line information will be acquired from all of Gazprom’s companies and the modernization process will be accomplished next year. The system will provide dispatchers with the information and recommendations on decision making.

    The decision making support systems assure more efficient UGSS control, fuel and energy resources saving through optimization of gas transmission flows and compressor loading at gas compressor stations. Being of primary importance for managing Gazprom’s production and technology complex, the dispatch and control on the UGSS is directly linked to the Company’s financial and economic performance.