Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR plans to increase capacities of its underground gas storage facilities in the country, SOCAR said in a message posted on its website Feb. 21.
Rovshan Garayev, the head of the Gas Storages Exploitation Division at Azneft Production Union of SOCAR, said that the underground gas storages are strategic facilities, which play an important role in the regulation of demand for gas in autumn-winter periods, as well as in ensuring uninterrupted operation of main and export gas pipelines.
Garayev made the remarks while addressing a meeting dedicated to the activity of the SOCAR company in 2016.
“Reconstruction, proper running of underground gas storage facilities and use of brand-new technologies are the main components of our strategy,” he said.
There are two underground gas storage facilities in Azerbaijan – Kalmaz and Garadagh owned by the Azneft Production Union.
Capacity of Azerbaijan’s underground gas storage facilities allows storing more than 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas.
Last year some 1.99 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas were pumped to the underground gas storage facilities, allowing to make a reserve of some 2.97 bcm, given the residual volumes of gas, Garayev said.
“As much as 1.87 bcm of gas were extracted from the underground storage facilities since the start of gas extraction season,” Garayev noted. “Azneft works on reconstruction and expansion of its gas storage facilities to increase their capacity.”
“The company plans to drill some 25 new wells in Garadagh and 21 wells in Kalmaz underground gas storage facilities,” he added. “It is also planned to build a new compressor station with the operating pressure of 250 atmospheres in order to bring the volumes of gas in underground storages up to 6 bcm.”
Seven new wells are expected to be drilled at the SOCAR underground gas storage facilities in 2017.