Gas technology

November 17, 2014

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The gas is the main fuel in the structure of energy consumption in Ukraine: the energy balance is about 40% for it. This exceeds twice the global average – 20%.

Where from and to

The highest gas consumption was observed in the early 1990s, when Ukraine was consumed nearly 120 billion cubic meters each year. Since then, volumes have been steadily declining. In the past five years, gas consumption in Ukraine has stabilized at the level of 50-60 billion cubic meters per year. The sharp decrease is expected in the current year.

According to the Cabinet of Ministers, reduction in consumption is 16% according to results of the first three quarters, i.e. it will be spent 40-42 billion cubic meters for a year. This is the minimum gas consumption in the history of Ukraine.

Domestic production of gas in 2013 amounted 21 billion cubic meters, which provided 40% of the annual demand for blue fuel, the remaining 60% were imported from Russia (the volume of reverse through the western border is too small to account for them separately. – Ed.).

press21-img3It is expected that it will produced around 20 billion cubic meters in 2014, i.e. almost 50% of annual need. This is the highest figure in the history of independent Ukraine.

The huge and inefficient consumption of gas in the past was due to the low prices of imported gas – they did not exceed $ 50 per 1thousand cubic meters until 2005. Moreover, gas is often paid with the goods that made him even more attractive purchase.

For the same reasons, domestic production has not developed: why invest means in it when there is a lot of cheap imported gas. Things began to change in recent years, especially after the signing of the controversial gas agreement between Naftogaz of Ukraine NJSC and Russian Gazprom in early 2009.

After it gas for industrial consumers increased sharply, and consumers have been forced to engage in energy conservation and efficiency. The sharp decline in the consumption of gas by industry proves it.

The dependence of the Ukrainian economy from the gas affected very painfully in periods of acute political crisis and relations with Russia. In 2005-2006. and 2008-2009. we have already experienced two winter “gas war” when the Russian “Gasprom” threatened to stop supplying fuel to Ukraine and brought threats. The current gas conflict – is the third.

The large dependence on Russian gas supplies makes the Ukrainian authorities in times of crisis to make political concessions to the neighbor. Even today, as part of the Ukraine is already occupied by Russia and continued fighting in the east of the country, Naftogaz of Ukraine pays billions of dollars to Russian state-owned company.

Production, supply and distribution of gas is a very inert business. It takes years even for minor changes. For example, about five years pass from the beginning of the geological studies of the gas field to its industrial development in Ukraine, and decades – in some cases.

Therefore, Ukraine gets out for a very long and hard from gas dependence on Russia. At the same time the implementation of energy efficiency projects, though requires a significant investment, but it takes less time and quickly bring tangible results.

press21-img2 Fight for cubic meter

In Ukraine, there are less and less burning torches in the fields every year. The price of gas is so high, and the demand is so great that pit and burn fuel is extremely expensive. Therefore, variety of technologies is used in Ukraine to increase efficiency of gas production of.

Private mining companies are fighting for each cubic meter, which is not surprising: on November 1, the limit price of gas for industrial enterprises, whom private entrepreneurs sell gas, rose to 5.1 thousand UAH. (excluding VAT and other charges) for 1 thousand cubic meters

So, the reduction of losses is now becoming more profitable. a widespread technology as well as own know-how come to help the producers.

For example, a private company will try to show how the gas companies are implementing energy conservation. Burisma Holdings is the largest private gas producer in Ukraine, which unites several mining assets, Energy Service Company Esko-Pіvnіch, Paris, Aldea and First Ukrainian Petroleum Company (totally approx. 20 licenses).

One of the easiest and inexpensive ways to minimize gas losses during extraction – is the introduction of ejectors. This is small mechanical device which can increas gas pressure. In Ukraine, where many small fields being developed and operated by a plurality of wells with low pressure, the mass introduction of ejectors is extremely efficiently. Application of this device on a single well may increase production in half – from 20 thousand cubic meters to 40 thousand cubic meters per day.

Another example is set ejector for degassing the condensate phase. After separation of condensate therein remains a certain amount of gas that is taken during drying and degassing. Previously, it just burned. Now setting a compressor and an ejector can increase the pressure of the resulting gas condensate from 1 atm to 50 atm, and supply it further to the high pressure pipeline.

The scale of the savings of gas is rather big: only one field due to degassing of condensate additionally receives up to 10 thousand cubic meters of gas per day, i.e. 3.5 million cubic meters of gas. Gas flow to the compressor is less than 300 cubic meters per day, or 100 thousand cubic meters in year. “None “cube” of gas is not flared – everything goes into the pipe,” – boasts Deputy Chief Engineer of Energy Service Company Esko-Pіvnіch Sergei Sadimaka.

The cost of the ejector for oil and gas wells is about 200 thousand UAH, all development and production is domestic. An important advantage of the mechanical ejector before the compressor is the lack of electricity consumption. In addition, the compressor is ten times more expensive. There are three the ejector on Rakytnyanske field, which develops Esko-Pіvnіch.

Use of gas for industry is minimized. Where possible, it is replaced with a more convenient power. For example, the company has completely rejected from the use of gas in local heating systems (metering units, valves, etc.).

Real know-how in the Ukrainian-scale can be called use of the operation technology of multilayer fields. Rakytnyanske field is still the first and only example in Ukraine, where production is made simultaneously from several isolated multiple layers with different pressure on one well.

In order to the layers with a higher pressure do not “kill” those layers where the pressure is less, they are isolated from each other by a packer, and two oil-well tubing through which gas flows at different pressures are lowered in a well. Then, using the above-mentioned ejector, the pressure is raised to the level required to supply into gas transportation system.

State Case

The state mining companies also save gas. For example, the company Ukrgazvydobuvannia, which accounts for about 75% of the gas produced in the country, has developed a unique project (these are only two in the world) by pumping nitrogen into gas-bearing formations. The technology involves the construction of a nitrogen plant which supplies through injection wells inert nitrogen into formations.

There it provides high pressure, enhance production performance. It is planned to build nitrogen plants at Tymofiivske and Kulychihinske fields in Poltava region. It is expected that a further withdrawal of gas from two fields amount to about 130 million cubic meters per year.

Project on construction of a cogeneration plant in Shebelinka Gas Processing Plant (GPP) in the Kharkiv region can be called Successful for Ukrgazvydobuvannia. There is big amount of heat appeared in the production of petroleum products at GPP, which is converted into power with the help of a cogeneration unit. The plant capacity is 6 MW, which covers the basic needs of the plant’s electricity.