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    Gazprom to boost domestic storage for winter


After last winter's records, the Russian company is planning even more injections at home.

by: William Powell

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Gazprom to boost domestic storage for winter

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom is planning to outdo this coming winter the records set by its domestic storage facilities in the 2020-2021 winter, it said May 13. Last winter saw exceptional demand as sub-normal temperatures persisted well into this spring.

Gas supplies to domestic consumers through Gazprom’s gas transmission system grew by 8.9% year on year. It also exported 14.8% more to Europe and Turkey from October to March. In October 2020 and January 2021, Gazprom recorded new all-time high figures of gas supply ever observed in these months: 17.4bn m³ and 19.5bn m³.

In order to ensure the reliable operation of the UGSS in the 2021–2022 autumn/winter period, the company plans to stockpile at least 72.638bn m³ and increase potential maximum daily deliverability to 847.9mn m³.

In the latest heating season, working gas inventories amounted to an all-time high of 72.322bn m³, and their potential maximum daily deliverability was 843.3mn m³, also an all-time high. Withdrawals amounted to 60.6bn m³, another record-high for Russia.

Network expansion

Gazprom is also working on its programme to expand the gas supply and gas infrastructure network in Russian regions through 2030, following the government’s goals. For the first time, its plans include LNG and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as part of the energy supply plan.

For the next 2021-25 period, Gazprom signed gas supply and infrastructure expansion projects with 67 Russian regions. The amount of financing is almost three times more than in 2016–2020. Over two-thirds of the investments will be provided to rural areas. By 2026, gas grid expansion will be completed to the fullest extent technically possible in 35 regions of Russia.

The programme introduces a new scheme whereby gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion programmes will be based on regional fuel and energy balance plans (FEBPs). They will take into account forecast energy consumption and the prospects for the regions' development, as well as the possibility of using alternative gas sources such as LNG and LPG or other types of fuel instead of pipeline gas.

"These FEBPs will make it possible, in particular, to deliver comprehensive forecasts of the demand for gas and other energy carriers, and ensure a proper balance between all branches of the energy sector," it said.

Another novelty is the introduction of the role of a 'single operator of gas infrastructure expansion' responsible for the construction of gas pipeline branches, distribution stations, inter-settlement gas pipelines, and gas distribution networks. 

The establishment of the single operator of gas infrastructure expansion will also make it possible to synchronise the construction of gas infrastructure expansion facilities, achieve a considerable optimisation of the construction costs, and reduce the time required for connecting consumers to gas supply networks, it said.

Gazprom has already submitted proposals to ease the administrative barriers in the design development and construction of gas supply facilities, and accelerate Russia's gas infrastructure expansion in general, it said.