Gazprom to ensure reliable gas supplies to domestic and foreign consumers in forthcoming winter
The Gazprom Management Committee examined the availability of the Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) facilities to operate during the peak loads of autumn/winter 2015–2016, as well as actions required to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to domestic and foreign consumers in the winter period and thereafter.
The meeting noted that Gazprom’s comprehensive efforts before the cold season ensured reliable gas supplies to the Russian constituents and allowed meeting contractual obligations to the consumers within and beyond the CIS.
The measures to prepare the UGSS for winter 2015–2016 covered all 17 maintenance and overhaul programs. By now, the company overhauled 952.3 kilometers of gas pipelines and 247 gas distribution stations. During the last nine months 15.7 thousand kilometers of pipelines were subjected to in-line inspection, 49 submerged crossings were repaired and 689 ones saw flaw detection. Besides, the Company maintained 396 gas compressor units and restored 49 kilometers of process tubing for compressor stations.
Rapid development of the Underground Gas Storage (UGS) network is likely to raise the potential output of Gazprom’s domestic UGS facilities to the unseen level: the maximum daily deliverability in the early withdrawal season is going to reach 789.9 million cubic meters of gas, which is 19.5 million cubic meters higher as compared to the previous year. The increment of the maximum daily deliverability corresponds to the daily gas consumption by some Russian constituents in the winter period, for instance, the Vologda or the Leningrad Regions.
The UGS replenishment with as much gas as was withdrawn in the previous cold season and stockpiling of operating gas reserve in the Russian UGS facilities in the amount of 72.018 billion cubic meters are nearly completed. Taking into account the Armenian and Belarusian UGS facilities, Gazprom’s operating gas reserve will reach 73.209 billion cubic meters.
Gazprom has so far injected 4.6 billion cubic meters into the European storages, 1.6 billion cubic meters – into the Incukalns UGS facility in Latvia. This is an extra guarantee for smooth operation during the peak load period.
Reliable functioning of gas production facilities is ensured, inter alia, by complete repair of 88 gas pre-treatment and comprehensive treatment units. 318 wells were overhauled by October 1, 2015. Besides, this year will see the commissioning of a gas boosting station at the Urengoyskoye field, as well as new wells at the Orenburg, Urengoyskoye, Yubileynoye and Yamburgskoye fields.
Moreover, successful passing of the peak load period depends on the availability of emergency fuel (fuel oil, coal, etc.) at power plants and major industrial companies, as well as thrifty gas consumption in the Russian regions.
Gazprom’s relevant units and its subsidiaries were tasked to complete timely preparation of the UGSS facilities for winter 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). In addition, Gazprom rents gas storage tanks from third-party companies.