Process of large-scale development of gas industry begins in the east of Russia

30 january 2015

During the roundtable "Prospects of use of valuable components of natural gas of Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East gas fields” experts discussed issues related to the use of valuable components of natural gas from fields in the east of the country.

"The work on updating the General Scheme for the gas industry, including the Eastern Gas Program, is being carried out today" said the Deputy Director of the Department of the production and transportation of oil and gas of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation Viktor Antoshin opening the roundtable. The updating is based on changes in the planning period of the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2035, and we can talk about the beginning of large-scale development of the gas industry in Eastern Russia, according to the official. The balance of Eastern Siberia development, which will soon be considered by the working group, involves the development of main gas fields. "In our view, Gazprom as a major participant of the process faces a complex task for the organization of the gas industry in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. This is a very serious technical-environmental task of an integrated approach - namely, solving the problems associated with the production, transportation and consumption of resources that we have today", said Mr. Antoshin.

Processing of gas in Russia is very poorly developed today, according to the Head of the Department for Strategic Studies in Energy of the Analytical Center Alexander Kurdin. "If we compare the gas processing industry in Russia with a number of other regions of the world, the position of our country in this area is extremely low. In addition the gas fields require an individual approach, and in the east of the country they are widely scattered", considers the expert. It remains unclear how Russia will meet this task, according to the expert. North America is the leader of the gas processing ,where up to 70% of the produced gas is subject to processing. "But if valuable components are extracted almost completely in North America, in this country, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia for the year 2012 the bulk of heavy hydrocarbons mined as part of free gas, is not extracted and is burned" said the Head of the Department for Fuel and Energy Sector of the Analytical Center Victoria Gimadi adding that ethane, propane and butane are extracted up to about 10%, and the remaining components are simply not used.

The participants of the event have paid special attention to the prospects of production and consumption of helium in Russia. "It is necessary to take measures of state support in order to create additional incentives for the development of the helium industry in Russia”, said the Adviser to Director General of Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC Alexander Gritsenko. “In particular, it is necessary to eliminate tariffs on goods imported for the implementation of helium projects, which have no comparable power analogues in Russia”. The direct state participation, state guarantees for lending programs for creation of new helium production and development of existing Russian high-tech helium consuming industries are necessary for implementation of projects for the extraction, storage and transport of helium, according to the expert.

Experts believe the lack of agreed legal acts, regulating the extraction, production, transportation, storage and consumption of helium hinder the construction of new facilities. It is first necessary to form a complex of measures to regulate the production and use of helium-rich natural gas, including in the foreign economic sphere, according to them.