Gazprom getting ready to provide reliable gas supplies to consumers in Russia and abroad during cold winter
The Gazprom Management Committee examined the Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) availability for peak loads in autumn/winter 2014–2015 and addressed steps to be taken over the long term for securing continuous gas supply to consumers during the winter period.
The meeting pointed out that Gazprom's comprehensive efforts aimed at the preparations for the coming autumn/winter period, which the Hydrometcenter forecasts to be colder than usual, would provide reliable gas supplies to the Russian regions and fulfill contract obligations to European consumers.
In the course of preparations for winter 2014–2015, all 17 scheduled maintenance and repair operations were carried out at the UGSS facilities. 1,264.47 kilometers of gas pipelines and 262 gas distribution stations were overhauled; 18.75 thousand kilometers of gas pipelines underwent in-line inspection during the nine months of the current year. 61 and 863 submerged crossings were repaired and inspected accordingly; 544 gas compressor units and 32 kilometers of compressor stations piping were subjected to renovation and repair respectively.
As a result of the active expansion of the underground gas storage (UGS) network, the potential output of domestic Gazprom's UGS facilities hit a record high: the maximum daily output by the withdrawal season increased to 770.4, i.e. 42.6 million cubic meters more versus last year. The increment of the average daily output is commensurate with the average daily gas consumption during the winter period in some Russian constituent entities, for example, in the Krasnodar Territory or the Orenburg Region.
Energetic efforts are being made for replenishing the UGS facilities with gas that was withdrawn during the last autumn/winter period as well as accumulating 71.133 billion cubic meters as the operating gas reserves of Russian UGS facilities, up 2.116 billion cubic meters versus 2013. This will be a record high amount in the history of the Russian gas industry.
Taking into account the UGS facilities located in Belarus, Gazprom's operating gas reserves will amount to 72.168 billion cubic meters, with the potential maximum daily output of UGS facilities by the withdrawal season start reaching 801.4 million cubic meters of gas. In addition, in early 2014 Gazprom acquired Gazprom Armenia, the owner of the Abovyan UGS facility featuring the following performances: operating gas reserve – 122 million cubic meters, potential maximum daily output by the withdrawal season – 9 million cubic meters.
Gazprom goes on with regular activities for injecting gas into the European UGS facilities, thus giving an additional guarantee to comfortably come through the peak load periods. The Company has already injected over 3.8 billion cubic meters of its gas into the European UGS facilities, versus 5 billion cubic meters scheduled. In addition, another 1.8 billion cubic meters of the Company's gas was injected into the Incukalns UGS facility (Latvia), versus 2 billion cubic meters scheduled.
In the 2014–2015 autumn/winter period the maximum gas output may reach 1.690 billion cubic meters a day. In order to provide for the failsafe operation of gas production companies, 95 comprehensive gas treatment and gas pretreatment units were subjected to full-scope repairs. As of October 1, 2014, 375 field wells were overhauled. In addition, this year the gas site (GP-1) with the annual output of 30 billion cubic meters of gas as well as a booster compressor station are to be commissioned in the Bovanenkovskoye field; booster compressor stations – in the Urengoyskoye field and the Vyngaiakhinskoye gas production facility; 113 wells – in the Bovanenkovskoye, Yamburgskoye, Urengoyskoye, Astrakhanskoye and Kirinskoye fields.
At the same time, successful operation during peak loads will largely depend on maintaining backup fuel (fuel oil, coal, etc.) reserves by consumers as well as on the regional gas consumption discipline. Therefore, the Management Committee meeting stressed that Gazprom would pay close attention to industrial companies observing the gas payment discipline within the specified limits.
All the planned maintenance and repair activities were completed within the schedule at the key export gas routes, directly connecting Gazprom with consumers – the Yamal – Europe, the Blue Stream and the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
Gazprom's relevant units, heads of subsidiaries and organizations were tasked to commission in due time the major gas production, transmission and underground storage facilities influencing the UGSS operation in the 2014–2015 autumn/winter period, complete timely preparation of the UGSS facilities for operation and ensure reliable and sustained functioning of process facilities.
UGS facilities are the critical tool for smoothing out peak loads and regulating seasonal demand fluctuations as well as for maintaining supply flexibility and reliability.
In Russia Gazprom operates 22 UGS facilities, which include 26 gas storages: 17 – in depleted gas fields, 8 – in aquifers and 1 – in salt caverns. In Belarus Gazprom operates three gas storage facilities, in Armenia – one.
In Europe Gazprom shares the following UGS facilities: Katharina (Germany), Rehden (Germany), Haidach (Austria), Banatski Dvor (Serbia), Incukalns (Latvia). In addition, Gazprom rents gas storage tanks from third-party companies.