Salzburg (Austria) hosted today the celebrations held by Gazprom, RAG and WINGAS and dedicated to completion of the Haidachunderground gas storage (UGS) facility being the largest in Austria and the second-largest in Central Europe.
Upon commissioning of the second and final phase of the UGS facility, its capacity totaled 2.8 billion cubic meters, daily deliverability – 28 million cubic meters (volumes are specified herein at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius). At the same time, the volume of natural gas stored by Gazprom in Haidach reached 1.9 billion cubic meters which makes up two-thirds of the UGS capacity.
Gazprom, RAG and WINGAS jointly invested some EUR 300 million in the project.
“Expanding the UGS network in Europe and building up storage capacities will enable Gazprom to trade extra gas amounts as well as to make a tangible contribution to reinforcing the regional energy security. Located in the heart of Europe, the Haidach UGS facility is a particularly successful project of the kind”, said Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.
“One of the major challenges relating to the energy supply is our ability to store energy. Gas storage facilities are the energy storage systems of the future. By using the former gas reservoir at Haidach as an underground gas storage facility in a sustainable manner we are now making a key contribution to Europe's supply security”, said Markus Mitteregger, CEO of Rohöl-Aufsuchungs Aktiengesellschaft (RAG).
“Gas storage facilities are crucial to securing the energy supply in Europe. Major investments are required to expand this infrastructure. The Haidach storage facility is a prime example of strong partners in the energy industry combining their different areas of expertise and realizing a project such as this one together successfully. The expansion of the Haidach storage facility is an important element in developing the increasingly integrated European gas markets”, said Dr. Gerhard König, Chairman of WINGAS.
The Haidach field was discovered by RAG at the depth of 1,600 meters in 1997. Holding a total gas in place of 4.3 billion cubic meters, the Haidach reservoir was one of the largest gas finds in Austria.
Utilization of a depleted field as a gas storage is the safest and most efficient way of storing natural gas.
In October 2003 Gazprom export, RAG and WINGAS signed the Protocol of Intents stipulating the Haidach field conversion and operation as a UGS facility. The companies each hold a third in the project.
In January 2005 the UGS facility construction was launched.
In 2007 the UGS Phase 1 was completed. Before commissioning of Phase 2, the working gas volume equaled to 1.3 billion cubic meters.
Construction of the UGS Phase 2 lasted for two years – from April 2009 to April 2011. The highest environmental and safety standards were observed during the construction process.
Nowadays, Haidach's major task is to secure reliability of Russian gas exports towards the Baumgarten hub as well as to consumers in Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Italy.
RAG is the Haidach UGS facility operator.
RAG is an Austrian company with following core areas of business: exploration, production and storage of hydrocarbons. Since its foundation in 1935 the company has produced 15 million tons of crude oil and over 27 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
At present, RAG runs its business in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine.
WINGAS is a joint venture of Gazprom (50 per cent less one share) and Wintershall Holding (50 per cent plus one share). The company is one of Germany's largest suppliers of natural gas. It is also active in natural gas trading across Europe: in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the UK. WINGAS' customers include municipal utilities, regional gas suppliers, large-scale industrial users and power plants.
WINGAS operates the Rehden UGS facility, the largest gas storage in Western Europe with the capacity of more than 4 billion cubic meters.
WINGAS TRANSPORT and OPAL NEL TRANSPORT (subsidiaries of WINGAS) own the gas transmission network stretching for more than 2,700 kilometers.