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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gazprom to spend $2.2 bln on underground gas storage program

MOSCOW, December 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom will spend $2.2 billion on the company's underground natural gas storage system in Russia from 2005-2010, the head of Gazprom's Gas Transportation, Underground Storage and Utilization Department said Tuesday. Bogdan Budzulyak said $1.8 billion would be spent on creating an underground technical complex, and $400 on exploration drilling. Budzulyak said through the program, named Program 700, the company's underground gas storage capacity would reach 700 million cubic meters per day during storage season. The program is part of the overall plan for developing the gas sector up to 2030. In order to implement Program 700, investment will need to be more than doubled compared to expenditures for 2005, Budzulyak said. Reserves totaling 62.6 billion cu m were stored in Gazprom's underground system in advance of the fall-winter season 2005-2006, the official said. The previous year, this figure was 62.5 billion cu m, with an average daily usage rate from December-February of 470.5 million cu m. By 2030, the volume of gas in the underground system will total 110 billion cu m, with a maximum daily usage capacity of more than 1 billion cu m.

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