Gazprom’s Board of Directors reviews UGSS readiness for autumn/winter period
The Board of Directors took note of the information relevant to the Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) readiness for the period of peak loads during the autumn/winter period of 2008–2009, as well as the measures to be taken to assure a long-term uninterrupted gas supply to Russian consumers during the winter period.
The meeting pointed out that the UGSS was generally ready for the forthcoming autumn/winter period. At the same time, successful operation in the autumn/winter period, especially during low temperature spells and peak gas take-offs by consumers, will largely depend on the availability of standard back-up fuel reserves (fuel oil, coal etc.) at power generation facilities and large industrial enterprises, as well as on the regional gas consumption discipline and compliance with the Schedule 1 provisions.
In the course of preparation for 2008–2009 winter period underground gas storages (UGS) have been replenished with the same gas volume as was extracted during the last autumn/winter period. Commercial gas reserves created in UGS facilities account for 64 bcm, an increase of 500 mcm compared to the same period of 2007.
The Company has ensured the average UGS potential daily productivity by 7.6mcm to 500 mcm of gas for December-February. Maximum potential daily productivity by the beginning of the take-off period has reached 620 mcm, which is 12 mcm more compared to the last year and 20 mcm more compared to the anomalously cold period of 2006–2007.
In the mid term perspective UGS maximum daily productivity is expected to be increased up to 758 mcm in order to facilitate operational reliability during peak loads.
During the autumn/winter period of 2008–2009 gas production is projected to reach 296 bcm, an increase of 1.6 bcm versus the previous autumn/winter period.
According to the schedule, 78 gas treatment units, 74 booster compressor shops and 399 wells were overhauled and 137 wells were put into operation as of October 1, 2008. In particular, new wells were put into operation at the Yuzhno-Russkoye field, Kharvutinskaya area of the Yamburg field and Orenburg field.
Over nine months of the current year 1,735 km of gas trunklines were reinsulated, gas pipelines were overhauled (524 km of pipes replaced), 986 underwater crossings were inspected (93 repaired), in-tube diagnostics of 15.4 thousand km of gas pipelines was performed. 797 medium and capital repairs for gas pumping units and 16 comprehensive scheduled maintenance works were implemented at UGS facilities, comprehensive repair of 49.2 km of compressor station technological pipelines was done.
In accordance with the schedule, gas distribution facilities have been prepared for the winter period; scheduled inspection of regional and local gas distribution companies is in progress. At present, the subsidiary and affiliated gas distribution companies of Gazprom Group maintain 544.5 thousand km of gas pipelines, 36.4 thousand of boilers and service over 16 thousand of industrial and 177 thousand of communal consumers.
To secure uninterrupted gas supplies to the household sector, a schedule stipulating the conversion of Russian industrial consumers to standby energy sources (Schedule 1) is endorsed annually by regional authorities.
Schedule 1 is applied under Article 19 of the Regulations on Gas Supply in the Russian Federation, approved by the Russian Federation Government Directive #162 of February 5, 1998. Schedule 1 provides for a partial conversion of customers to standby energy sources (fuel oil, peat, coal etc.) under extremely low temperature to spare an amount of gas for meeting increased demand of the residential sector.
Conversion to standby energy sources and their timely buildup are provided for in gas supply contracts for all types of industrial consumers.