Gazprom, Gazexport, RAG and Wingas ink construct and use Australia's largest UGS facility
On 13 May 2005, in Vienna, Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom’s Management Committee & Gazexport’s Director General and the top management of RAG and Wingas GmbH inked a Contract to construct an underground gas storage (UGS) facility at the Haidach field (Salzburg, Upper Austria).
The UGS facility will be built by RAG that will act as the project operator and license holder. Now entering into a scrutiny stage, the project will be funded by Gazexport, RAG and Wingas with some EUR 250 mln.
Due 2007 and to be the largest in Austria and the second-largest in Central Europe, the Haidach UGS facility will have 2.4 bcm in maximum throughput, which is roughly 30% of the overall annual gas consumption in Austria.
The projected UGS facility and supporting transmission infrastructure will be constructed and operated through the highest safety & environmental protection standards. The project stipulates a reservoir being used and linked via an 800mm diameter pipeline with a gas terminal in Burghausen (German-Austrian border). This move will be a substantial contribution into providing gas supply security and meeting booming gas demand in Europe.
Discovered by RAG in 1997 at a 1,600m depth and with 2/3 of its gas reserves so far developed, the Haidach field is naturally porous. Using a mature natural gas field as UGS facility is the most efficient and reliable gas storage option.
RAG is an Austria-based company dealing with hydrocarbon exploration, production and marketing. Since 1937, RAG has domestically extracted over 14 mln t of oil and 22 bcm of gas. The company has been involved in the UGS facility operation within a 20-year period and is holding 7,100 cu m concession licenses in Austria and Bavaria.
A joint venture of Gazprom (35%) and Wintershall AG (65%), since 1990 Wingas has been supplying gas to power plants, prominent industrial consumers and regional gas suppliers in Germany and Europe. Wingas possesses an over 2,000-km-long Germany-based gas transmission network so far funded by Wintershall AG and Gazprom with some EUR 3 bln. Said pipeline network links gigantic gas reserves of Siberia with expanding markets in West Europe, enabling Wingas to enter the European spot markets under development. Wingas owns the largest West European Rehden UGS facility with over 4 bcm (1/5 of the overall German gas storage capacities) in throughput.
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