Underground gas storage
Trunklines conveying natural gas from fields to the places of consumption operate in a relatively stable mode. However, gas consumption is marked, first of all, by seasonal fluctuations. In order to reduce peak loads and ensure flexibility and reliability of gas supplies, special compensation facilities – gas storages capable of accumulating excess gas, storing it and, in case of increasing demand, providing it to consumers – have to be built. Underground gas storage (UGS) facilities created in depleted hydrocarbon fields, aquifers or salt caverns perform such a compensation function.
Kaliningradskoye UGS facility
Gazprom UGS facilities in Russia
Being an integral part of the Unified Supply System (UGSS) of Russia, UGS facilities are situated in the main gas consuming regions. The UGS network supplies over 20 per cent of gas to Russian consumers during the heating season.
Gazprom operates 22 UGS facilities at 26 gas storages in Russia: 17 – in depleted gas fields, 8 – in aquifers and 1 – in salt caverns.
Gazprom’s current and prospective UGSFs in Russia
By the 2016–2017 autumn/winter period, working gas inventories in the UGS facilities amounted to 72.098 billion cubic meters, while their maximum potential daily deliverability reached by the start of the period a record 801.3 million cubic meters of gas, which was 11.4 million cubic meters higher than last year.
Gazprom UGS facilities abroad
With a view to enhance the reliability of gas supplies under export contracts, Gazprom uses UGS capacities within and beyond the CIS.
As a co-investor, Gazprom has access to the working gas capacity of the following UGS facilities in Europe:
- Etzel, Katharina, Rehden and Jemgum (Germany);
- Haidach (Austria);
- Bergermeer (Netherlands);
- Banatski Dvor (Serbia).
Rehden UGS facility
If the need arises, Gazprom can lease additional gas storage capacities from third-party companies.
In 2015, Gazprom’s gas storage capacities in Europe (including those under lease contracts) amounted to 5 billion cubic meters and their daily deliverability was 61.5 million cubic meters.
Gazprom owns the following UGS facilities in the FSU:
- Mozyrskoye, Osipovichskoye and Pribugskoye (Belarus);
- Abovyanskoye (Armenia).
The Company also uses some of the Incukalns UGS capacities (Latvia).
In 2015, working gas inventories in these UGS facilities totaled 2.8 billion cubic meters and their potential maximum daily deliverability was 56 million cubic meters.
UGS sector development
Building up the potential maximum daily deliverability is one of Gazprom’s key goals related to the domestic UGS sector development. The annual growth of this indicator is comparable with the daily gas consumption by one of Russian regions, such as the Vologda or Leningrad Regions, during the winter period.
Potential maximum daily deliverability as of withdrawal season start-up, million cubic meters
Later on, the maximum daily deliverability will exceed 1 billion cubic meters (for instance, this figure for all UGS facilities across the world is nearly 7 billion cubic meters).
At present, six new UGS facilities are under design and construction in Russia:
- Udmurtia reserving complex.
Retrofitting and expansion activities are underway at another nine UGS facilities and three gas storages are being upgraded and reequipped.
The work is in progress to increase the performance of UGS facilities in Belarus.
Gazprom goes on expanding its UGS capacities in Europe to achieve the working gas capacity of at least 5 per cent of the annual amount of gas export. Today it continues the construction of the Katharina (Germany) and the Damborice (Czech Republic) UGS facilities.
Katharina UGS facility