Asia Eastern Europe Energy Energy Trading Europe Pipelines

Russia’s Gas Pipeline Network Revised

Russia’s Gazprom, in which the government holds a controlling stake, is responsible for about 11% of global gas output. In 2016, it extracted 419.1 Bcm of natural and associated gas, 15.9 million tons of gas condensate and 268.9 Bboe (39.3 million tons of oil).

Gazprom is a vertically integrated energy company focused on geological exploration, production, transportation and storage upstream, along with downstream processing and sales of gas, gas condensate and oil, and the sale of gas as a vehicle fuel. The company is also involved in the generation and marketing of heat and electric power.

Russia’s gas trunk transmission system is the most extensive in the world, linking gas fields in the Urals, Central Siberia and Russian Far East, with domestic customers and further afield in Europe, Turkey and China. In 2017, Gazprom’s sales reached $103.9 billion.

During the years 2005-2016, Gazprom spent over $4.62 billion in expanding the gas network. During this period, more than 28,000 kilometers (17,400 miles) of gas pipelines were built, and the gas penetration level in Russia increased from 53.3% to 67.2%, with the increase from 60% to 70.9% in urban areas and from 34.8% to 57.1% in rural areas.

Unified System

Gazprom owns and operates the Unified Gas System of Russia (UGS), which at 171,400 kilometers, is the world’s longest domestic gas trunk transmission system serving not only its own fields, but also those of independents such as Rosneft, Novatek, Urals Energy Public Company ltd and the Imperial Energy Corporation PLC.

Gazprom operates 253 compressor stations to carry gas over long distances, as well as more than 20 underground natural gas storage facilities. These impressive credentials mask the fact that the bulk of the transmission pipelines are old and in need of costly replacement.

“Around 50% of the Russian trunk pipeline system is over 30 years old,” said Jack Sharples, an Oxford Institute fellow for Energy Studies. “A further 27.5% is 20 to 30 years old. This leaves around 22.5% of the system being 20 years old or less.” Read more

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