Gazprom Signs Agreement for Bergermeer Gas Storage Project

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 8/20/2009, Location: Europe

The Bergermeer Gas Storage project consortium, consisting of EBN, Dyas B.V., Petro-Canada and operator TAQA Energy B.V., a subsidiary of The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), signed an agreement with Gazprom export for provision of gas storage services in exchange for the delivery of cushion gas for the Bergermeer Gas Storage project. Upon completion, this is expected to be Europe’s largest new gas storage facility. Today’s announcement is the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on 5 December 2008.

The agreement specifies that Gazprom export, a subsidiary of the world’s largest gas company JSC Gazprom, will deliver for the project a certain amount of cushion gas for injection into the Bergermeer reservoir. In exchange, Gazprom will receive working capacity and participating interest in the technical operator of the facility.

Today’s agreement is conditional upon a final investment decision for the project by each of the consortium partners and Gazprom, which is expected to be reached by all parties in the following months.

Bergermeer Gas Storage will significantly enhance the security of energy supply to Dutch and European consumers, providing a reserve of the equivalent to the annual gas consumption of approximately 1.6 million Dutch households. The planned working volume amounts to 4.1 bcm. It will also be a major contributor to liquidity in the Northwest European gas markets.

Paul van Gelder, Managing Director of TAQA in The Netherlands, says: “Today’s announcement is a significant step forward for the project. Our combined expertise in underground gas storage creates synergies that will facilitate development of the Bergermeer Gas Storage project. The commitment of the existing partners and the expertise of Gazprom, in its role as strategic participating customer, will ensure the success of this facility in securing Europe’s energy supplies for decades to come.”

Peter Barker-Homek, CEO of TAQA, says: “TAQA has invested a significant amount of time in a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). We invest in sustainable projects with respect for nature and people. For the Dutch Government, TAQA and its partners: “Safety First” is the slogan we are regulated and live by.”

Jan Dirk Bokhoven, Chairman of the Executive Board of EBN, says: “The signing of this agreement is important for the project and an essential component for the final investment decision, which EBN aims to achieve in the coming month. The project would be a valuable contribution towards the ambition of our shareholder, the Dutch State, to realise the ‘gas roundabout of North-West Europe’ in The Netherlands.”

Gazprom Export Director General Alexander Medvedev says: “Gazprom attaches high importance to the creation of a network of underground gas storage facilities in Europe in order to ensure security of natural gas supplies, in accordance with its export contracts. The Bergermeer Gas Storage, given its technical parameters and geographical location, will secure the stability of our supplies not only for sake of our current contracts, but also for the implementation of our new contracts, intended to provide gas through the Nord Stream pipeline which is now being put together.”

Subject to obtaining the necessary permits and the final investment decision for the project, TAQA, as operator, plans to commence construction of the Bergermeer Gas Storage facility in 2010 with commercial operations expected to start in 2013. Once commercially operational, the majority of the capacity of the facility will be made available for third party access.


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