The Gazprom Management Committee examined the operational readiness of the Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) facilities for peak loads in late 2017 – early 2018 and addressed the measures needed to be taken for ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to Russian and foreign consumers during winter periods in the long term.
It was highlighted that maintaining high reliability of gas supply, especially in the times of increased winter demand, was a top priority for Gazprom. The Company's production capacities are generally ready for operation in the autumn-winter period. The Russian and foreign consumers will be supplied with the required amounts of natural gas.
As part of the preparations for the winter season, all 12 sets of preventive maintenance and repair operations had been completed at the UGSS facilities. Extensive work was done along the gas transmission system. Over the first nine months of 2017, Gazprom overhauled some 627.4 kilometers of gas pipelines and 213 gas distribution stations. 17,400 kilometers of pipelines underwent in-line inspections, while 32 and 856 submerged crossings were repaired and inspected, accordingly. In addition, 342 gas compressors were reconditioned and 33.3 kilometers of process pipes at compressor stations were overhauled.
As usual, special attention was given to further development of the underground gas storage (UGS) network. The Company had set another record for the national gas industry by attaining a new high in the potential maximum daily deliverability of Russian UGS facilities by the start of the withdrawal season. Compared to the 2016–2017 figure, it was raised by 4 million cubic meters to 805.3 million cubic meters of. This amount is commensurate with the daily gas consumption in winter by individual constituent entities of Russia, for instance, by the Pskov Region. It was also noted that in the last seven years, starting from the 2010–2011 autumn/winter season, Gazprom had increased the potential maximum daily deliverability of UGS facilities in Russia by almost 30 per cent.
By the 2017–2018 withdrawal season, the working gas inventories in domestic UGS facilities amounted to 72.184 billion cubic meters. Taking into account the UGS facilities in Armenia and Belarus, Gazprom's working gas inventories stand at 73.4 billion cubic meters.
A large scope of work was performed at gas production facilities. By the beginning of October, 2017, a total of 89 comprehensive gas treatment and pre-treatment units were fully repaired. Until the year's end, the Company plans to commission booster compressor stations with an aggregate capacity of 192 MW and more than 30 new production wells, particularly at the Bovanenkovskoye, Orenburgskoye, Urengoyskoye and Yamburgskoye fields.
However, successful operations during the period of peak loads will depend, among other things, on the sufficiency of backup fuels (fuel oil, coal, etc.) at heat generation facilities and large industrial enterprises, as well as on disciplined gas consumption across Russian regions.
Gazprom's relevant units and subsidiaries were tasked to complete the preparation of the UGSS facilities for winter operation in a timely manner and ensure the reliable and smooth functioning of capacities.