Gazprom increases UGS productive potential to record high
The Gazprom Management Committee examined the readiness of the Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) facilities for the peak load period in autumn/winter 2012–2013 and steps to be taken to secure long-term continuous gas supply to consumers in winter.
The meeting noted that the UGSS was generally ready for the forthcoming autumn/winter period. In the course of preparations for winter 2012–2013, all 16 scheduled maintenance and repair operations were carried out at UGSS facilities. 1,696 kilometers of gas pipelines were overhauled, 16.8 thousand kilometers of gas pipelines underwent in-line inspection and electrometric survey of 12.9 thousand kilometers of gas pipelines was conducted during the nine months of the current year. 59 and 888 submerged crossings were repaired and inspected accordingly. 539 gas compressor units were overhauled.
Productive potential of Gazprom's underground gas storage (UGS) facilities in Russia was increased to record high: the maximum daily sendout rose to 671.1 million cubic meters of gas in the beginning of the withdrawal season, while the average daily sendout in December-February amounted to 535.9 million cubic meters of gas, representing a 23.4 and 13.8 million cubic meters increase versus last year. The growth of the average daily sendout is commensurate with the average daily gas consumption during the winter period in some Russian constituents, for example, in the Bryansk, Kirov, Omsk or Ulyanovsk Regions.
The work has been practically completed on replenishing UGS facilities with roughly the same volume as was withdrawn during the last autumn/winter period as well as accumulating in Russian UGS facilities the operating gas reserves of 66.28 billion cubic meters, which is 1 billion cubic meters more than in 2011. This will be the record high amount in the history of Russian gas industry.
Taking into account the UGS facilities located in Belarus, Gazprom's operating reserves will be 67.14 billion cubic meters and productive potential of underground storages will be as follows: the maximum daily sendout will make up 689.1 million cubic meters of gas by the withdrawal season startup and the average daily sendout from December to February will be 542.1 million cubic meters of gas.
The reliability assurance measures at gas production companies included, inter alia, commissioning of new wells in the Zapolyarnoye, Astrakhanskoye, Yamsoveyskoye fields and the Nyda area in the Medvezhye field as well as extra booster compressor capacities in the Yamburgskoye, Medvezhye and Komsomolskoye fields. As of October 1, 2012, 341 wells were overhauled. In 2012 the Bovanenkovskoye field with the annual design capacity of 115 billion cubic meters of gas will be commissioned on the Yamal Peninsula. Besides, it is planned to launch the second comprehensive gas treatment unit (CGTU-1V) for the Valanginian deposits at the Zapolyarnoye field that will raise the field's annual design capacity to 130 billion cubic meters of gas.
At the same time, successful operation during peak loads will largely depend on the availability of backup 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 Schedule 1. In this respect, the Management Committee highlighted that Gazprom would strictly enforce the discipline of gas consumption within the preset limits at industrial companies.
Heads of subsidiary companies and organizations of Gazprom were tasked to complete timely preparation of UGSS facilities for operation in autumn/winter 2012–2013 and ensure reliable and sustained functioning of process capacities.
To secure uninterrupted gas supply to the residential and utility sectors, a schedule of converting Russian industrial consumers to backup fuels (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 No.162 dated February 5, 1998. Schedule 1 stipulates partial conversion of industrial consumers to backup fuels (fuel oil, peat, coal, etc.) under abnormally low temperatures in order to save a certain amount of gas and to use it for meeting increased demand of the residential and utility sectors.
Conversion to backup fuels and their timely procurement are provided for in the gas supply contracts made with all industrial consumers.