SOCAR enjoys high volume of stored natural gas

By Nigar Orujova

The volume of residual natural gas stored at underground facilities of Azerbaijan’s energy giant SOCAR, following the start of the gas extraction season, exceeds 1.86 billion cubic meters, a source at the company told Day.az.

Currently, Azerbaijan has two underground gas storage facilities - Kalmaz and Garadagh, which are based on the old hydrocarbon fields. These underground gas storage facilities can store up to 6 billion cubic meters of gas. SOCAR continues the construction of a new gas storage facility in Nakhchivan.

Today, the two storages allow supply of the necessary volumes of gas to the distribution network in autumn and winter, when gas consumption is growing in the country, as well as to use them as a reserve for the implementation of the commitments on gas export, if necessary.

“The season of the gas extraction began in October 2015, and 830.1 million cubic meters of gas were extracted since that time from the storage facilities. The volume of residual gas now exceeds 1.86 billion cubic meters,” the source said.

Since the start of the season, about 354.47 million cubic meters were extracted from the Garadagh storage, which has 961.1 million cubic meters of residual gas, and 475.64 million cubic meters of gas were taken from the Kalmaz storage with balance of 903.43 million cubic meters of gas.

The gas consumption in the country increased due to sharp decrease in the air temperature, which led to more gas extraction from the storages.

“Now the figure is closer to 22.5 million cubic meters of gas per day,” said the source. Daily volume of gas extraction from storage was about 10.17 million cubic meters on November 12, 2015.

The gas extraction season starts with the deteriorating weather conditions and increase in demand for the natural gas. The rest of the time, the gas injection process is underway.

Last year, Azerbaijan has increased the production of tank gas. The production of tank gas exceeded 18.9 billion cubic meters in Azerbaijan for the first time, which is 0.2 billion more than in 2014.

However, the total volume of gas production in Azerbaijan amounted to 29.4 billion cubic meters in 2015, which is 0.2 billion cubic meters less than in 2014.

SOCAR also takes into account Georgia’s ever-growing needs for natural gas. The company exported 1.25 billion cubic meters of gas to Georgia in eleven months of last year, which is higher than in the same period 2014, when 1.1 billion cubic meters of gas were exported.

In 2016, SOCAR does not plan to change the volume of gas supplies to Georgia.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’ staff journalist. Follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

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