Russian Federation has the highest reserves of natural gas globally, and is also the largest exporter of natural gas to Europe. Russia enjoys a monopoly in terms of natural gas supply to Europe. To maintain a continuous and smooth supply of natural gas to its customers in Europe round the year, Russia stores natural gas in underground storage facilities. Russia has about 2,242.7 bcf of working gas capacities in underground gas storage.
OAO Gazprom is the Dominant Player in the European Gas Storage Market
OAO Gazprom has the highest working gas capacity of natural gas storage, with 2315.3 bcf. The company also owns the Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) that carries all the natural gas to be exported from Russia to Europe. The state-run Gazprom dominates Russia’s upstream, and produces almost 90% of the total natural gas output. It controls most of the Russian gas reserves, with more than 65% of proven reserves directly under control of the company, with additional reserves held under joint ventures with other companies.
Depleted Oil and Gas Fields are the Most Favored Type of Underground Gas Storage Facilities in Europe
Depleted oil and gas fields are the most readily available and are also the easiest and most economical to convert into an underground gas storage
facility. Depleted oil and gas fields inherently possess characteristics that are required for a gas storage reservoir, and hence do not require many changes for conversion. Often these depleted oil and gas fields are pre-built with the required infrastructure, such as connectivity to the pipeline network, good transportation infrastructure and so on.
Europe Requires Higher Underground Gas Storage Capacity for Energy Security
Europe has inadequate reserves of natural gas. To meet its domestic demand, Europe imports natural gas in the form of LNG or through pipelines. Almost all of the imported gas through pipelines comes from Russia.
In 2006, Russia had cut down its supply of natural gas to Ukraine, and in 2007, gas supply was cut to Belarus due to non-payment of dues. This affected the gas supplies to several European countries, as Belarus and Ukraine are major gas transit countries from Russia. Sudden disruption of gas supply during the winter months prompted the EU to secure their gas supplies from alternative gas sources, with supply of gas through alternative gas supply pipelines and increased storage capacity for natural gas. Creating a greater number of gas storages is being encouraged, so that large volumes of gas can be stored during the summer months when gas demand is low.
GlobalData’s new report, “Gas Storage in Europe - Market Analysis and
Competitive Landscape to 2013”, provides an in-depth analysis of Europe’s gas storage industry to 2013. The report details all major gas storage markets, major companies and types of storages in Europe. The report also provides key trends and issues in the underground gas storage market in Europe and provides information on the operations of the major gas storage players in the region. The research also provides information on expansion plans of underground gas storage sites in Europe until 2013.
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