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Chayanda's "fatty" gas

Construction of the "Siberia Power" gas pipeline is an occasion for discussion of the national gas plans

Chayanda's "fatty" gas

The construction of Power of Siberia has begun. OOO Gazprom transgaz Tomsk, which operates gas pipelines and is the customer of the construction, delivered about 60 thousand tons of cargo to Yakutia, some of which will be used to equip housing for builders and production sites. Linear divisions of the company were created in Lensky, Olekminsky, Neryungri and Aldansky districts.

According to Anatoly Titov, General Director of Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk, in 2015 it is planned to import from 400 to 500 thousand tons of cargo - equipment and materials. Concrete work on the construction of the gas pipeline will begin, and the first stage will be completed in four years. Drilling geological exploration work has been going on at Chayanda for many years. In short, the process is underway - and that's enough about that.

As for Yakutia as a whole, let's talk about the two directions of development of the gas industry indicated above. The Yakut authorities signed an agreement on gasification of settlements with Gazprom back in 2008, and in 2009 the General Scheme of Gas Supply and Gasification of the Republic was approved. The essence is simple - Gazprom is building trunk branches from Power of Siberia to settlements, while the republic is building intra-settlement networks on its own. Gasification will cover the Lensky, Olekminsky, Aldansky and Neryungri districts of the republic, the list of settlements has been basically agreed (42 settlements are planned, where more than 135 thousand people live). And it was gasification that became one of the arguments of the Yakutian government in favor of the need to build a gas processing plant.

Chayandinsky gas, which is called “fat”, contains many components in addition to natural gas. Thus, if gasification implies that a gas stove with burners will appear in settlements in each apartment, then from the Power of Siberia, unprepared dried natural gas will go to these stoves, which, in order to give it at least some smell for safety reasons, you have to odorize, and the "fat" Chayndian mixture. By the way, it has a rather pronounced smell of its own. In order for the consumer to receive clean dried gas, it is necessary either to build a whole network of plants for drying and preparation, that is, to reduce the already low questionable profitability to negative values, or to create a large gas chemical production right at the exit from the field.

From this point of view, it would be optimal to create gas processing facilities immediately at the exit from Chayanda in the city of Lensk. Then pure natural gas would have gone into the pipeline, and Yakutia would have acquired gas processing, but it would be very far from consumers. Lensk is located on the banks of the Lena. Nevertheless, seasonal river delivery of products is carried out to the Ust-Kutsk transport hub in the Irkutsk region and only then by land routes, primarily by rail, to the final consumer - this is too long a shoulder that lowers the economic efficiency of the project. Therefore, when, after the signing of the Shanghai contract, it was announced about the construction of a gas processing complex in the city of Svobodny, Amur Region, closer to the customs and the main potential consumer, no one had any questions, objections or suggestions. However, in the "fat" Chayndinsky gas there is one more component, according to which everything was not so unambiguous - helium.

Helium Reasons

The government of the republic presented its arguments in favor of creating helium production in Yakutia both during various meetings with the leadership of the Russian Federation and Gazprom, and, in particular, at the Helium-2014 conference held in October 2014 in Moscow.

What is the point? The Chayandinskoye field is rich in helium, reserves are estimated at over 8 billion cubic meters. Actually, initially the gas-chemical complex in Svobodny should produce commercial helium as well. But the content of this component in Chadinskaya gas is redundant for today's market opportunities. Therefore, an excess of helium will be extracted by membrane technology directly at the field and pumped back into the reservoir.

It was on this that the argumentation of Yakutia was based. First, as mentioned above, with this approach, a multicomponent gas containing a certain amount of helium will be burned in the gasified settlements of Yakutia and the Amur Region. Secondly, this makes helium production dependent on market volatility: what to do with commercial helium from Svobodny, if the market falls, and the conditions for storing helium have their own specifics? Thirdly, with constant re-injection of helium into the reservoir, its content in the produced "fat" gas will increase, and accordingly, costs in the prime cost will increase. Based on this, the authorities of Yakutia proposed to locate a helium plant in Lensk and underground helium storage facilities - under salt deposits, within the Monulakhsky and Murbaysky license areas, which are located 50 km from the city. As for storage facilities, salt lids guarantee storage reliability, and the storage facility itself allows you to make stocks during periods of market downturns, that is, do not stop production, and generally work for the future. The option of creating a storage facility in a depleted spent gas field is also not excluded, in the future it could become Otradninskoye.

Another argument in favor of the helium plant in Lensk: in 2015, the direct implementation of the Timir project begins - the creation of a mining and metallurgical complex in the south of Yakutia (EVRAZ group). A metallurgical plant will be built on the basis of the Taezhnoye and Desovskoye iron ore deposits, which, in turn, will become a consumer of helium, which is used in metallurgy as a protective inert gas for smelting pure metals.

In addition, Lensk is a river port, and in the case of helium, which has specific requirements for transportation, it provides more convenient conditions for its export, including taking into account the development prospects of the Northern Sea Route. At the same time, in the long term up to 2030, the development of highways is planned, which will connect Lensk with the federal network for the shortest distance through the Irkutsk region.

For Yakutia - not the point yet

General Director of Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk Anatoly Titov, answering journalists' questions in Yakutsk in December 2014, where an agreement was signed between the government of the republic and the company, said that all processing of Chayndinsky gas going through the Power of Siberia will be located in Amur region. Excess helium is planned to be recovered using a membrane technology with re-injection.

Does this answer set a decisive point in the issue of creating Yakut gas processing? Concerning Chayandinskogo gas - it is possible. Although, at least, the proposal to create a helium storage of its relevance still does not lose, and this topic can still be returned later.

It is also necessary to understand that the development of Chayanda and the construction of the Power of Siberia, of course, opened a large window of opportunity for Yakutia. However, for the republic, the light did not come together in the gas processing of the Chayndinsky raw materials. As the Minister of Industry of Yakutia Andrey Panov said, he sees the main prospects for the development of the republic's gas industry in the capacity utilization of the central gas region on the basis of the Srednevilyuyskoye field.

The Srednevilyuyskoye field began to be developed in the 60s of the last century, Yakutsk became the main consumer of its gas, which is home to a third of the population of the republic, located YGRES, CHP and other industrial consumers, including the cement plant 100 kilometers from Yakutsk.

With the extensive gasification program of the last decade, the length of the gas transmission system, which is isolated, has significantly increased, but gasified small villages did not bring a large increase in consumption, that is, the growth in consumption was disproportionately small to the increase in the length of gas pipelines, the profitability of gas transportation has dropped significantly. Thus, today the consumption of gas from the Srednevilyuyskoye field is about XNUMX billion cubic meters per year, but it can be at least doubled. This requires a large industrial consumer, in other words, a gas processing plant, there are no other prospects for such a serious increase in consumption.

Plans to create a gas processing facility in central Yakutia have been hatched for a long time; various projects have been and are being proposed. The most relevant one today is connected with the PSEDA "Zarechye", and this is already a separate interesting question, which we will talk about next time.

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