On Russian Eastern Gas Program and European "pioneer spirit"
In Yakutsk, Mirny, the diamond capital of the country, as October curtain falls, the field session of the Energy Committee of the State Duma of Russia will take place, which will consider the problems of the Eastern Gas Program. The meeting will be attended by the Chairman of the Committee Ivan Grachev. Among the participants of the visiting energy session are members of the State Duma Committee on Energy, the representatives of Gazprom, Transneft, other relevant agencies, as well as invited experts and representatives of the local authorities.
Before leaving Moscow, Ivan Grachev gave a brief interview to Inforos, saying that it is "the first of its kind field session held in the Sakha-Yakutia, which play an important role in the Eastern Gas Program."
What will be discussed in Mirny? "The working agenda consists of not only general topics, but absolutely certain ones as well - said Mr. Grachev. - For example, a range of issues related to the Chayanda gas field which is expected to be "unpacked", that is, the resource to be opened, will be considered. The large deposits are located in Lena region of Yakutia, in the permafrost zone."
It is worth recalling that the basic document defining the development of the gas industry in the East of Russia, if presented in full, is a large-scale state-run Development Program for an integrated gas production, transportation and supply system in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, taking into account potential gas exports to China and other Asia-Pacific countries. Eastern Gas Program for short.
The ambitious plan was approved in September 2007 by the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Russia, and is already in motion. The scope of the project is such that there's enough work for several generations of oil and gas industry professionals. Eastern Gas Program plan is associated with a serious intention of the state to return to the implementation of the national long-standing dream of a full-fledged development of the eastern territories.
Of course, much has been done at different stages of history, but that is only a "drop in the ocean." Eastern Siberia and the Far East compose approximately 60% of the Russian Federation territory. Speaking of the bowels, the initial total gas resources of terrestrial East of Russia amount to 52.4 trillion cubic meters, and 14.9 trillion cubic meters offshore. However, the geological knowledge of the gas potential of the region is only 7.3% for land and 6% for the shelf. So, in fact, in terms of resources the virgin soil is only touched in this region of Russia.
Gazprom is entrusted to coordinate the efforts to implement the Eastern Gas Program, which makes sense. Professional reputation of the concern, its scientific and technical equipment and world authority will undoubtedly contribute to bringing foreign partners to the realization of the planned energy program with their investment opportunities, technological innovations, and so on. There's nothing new that existing sources are decreasing rapidly, and there is no other way to prevent energy coma than to cooperate the powers of the states interested in hydrocarbons for joint development of new fields, of which, in particular, the Russian depths are rich.
According to the Eastern Gas Program new gas production centers will be created in the Asian part of the country, whose geography is Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Sakhalin, Kamchatka. The projects of these support centers of gas production have already entered the active phase of their life process. One of the key centers will be in Yakutia, whose resource base is Chayanda field, one of the largest in the region. Subsoil reserves are up to 1.24 trillion cubic meters of gas and 68.4 million tons of oil and condensate here. As they say, there is work to do.
"At the visiting session of our Committee - said Mr. Grachev - the fate of Kavykta field in the Irkutsk Region will be discussed as well, the largest in the region. The development of Kovykta has a chance to become one of the most significant projects of cooperation in regional and interstate scale, impressive object of international material and scientific and technical cooperation."
Of course, local energy problems will be considered in Mirny as well. "Yakutia provides itself with electricity unevenly, by fragments: somewhere there's an excess, and somewhere a deficit - said Ivan Grachev. - For example, there is an excess in Yakutsk, whereas a deficit in the northern areas. Actually, the situation is similar in the Irkutsk Region: the further away from the center, the more problems with energy there are, especially in northern territories. Such an imbalance must be aligned. There is no clarity in gasification politics in Yakutia region, and we need to discuss with local officials what they think about it and how they plan to operate. One of the outcomes of our Committee field meeting is to evaluate the situation and make a decision - what we recognize correct, what we do not agree with and what things we recommend,"- said Ivan Grachev.
The fundamental principle of creating Yakutia gas production center is an integrated approach proposed by Gazprom and involving the synchronized input of all the structures. That means that the projection of gas production, transportation and processing of hydrocarbons must be brought to the exact mutual satisfaction with a number of infrastructure projects in Yakutia. The issue of harmonizing activities on all fronts is the hardest, but the principal and is worked through by the specialists on the principle of the symphony, where each instrument plays its own party, creating a complete image.
Energy projects in Russia can not but impress. MPs of European Parliament profile Committee - participants of the recent EU-Russia Energy Dialogue in Brussels appreciated the plans to develop new deposits, noting their importance for sustainable development, and stressed that the participation of foreign partners will not only bring the effect, but undoubtedly be profitable as well. However business pragmatic "solitaires" are often confused by policy.
Some Western political figures are very fond of exploiting the thesis of "injustice", announcing that Russia is "given too much", while for the others energy issue is eternal "headache."
However, Russia doesn't sit on its wealth like a dog in the manger. It has been exploring and developing its resources in difficult climate conditions during the entire twentieth century and supplied Europe with cheap enough "blue fuel" for many years. Aware of the fact that it indeed has a lot meted out, realizing its responsibility to the rest of the world and striving itself for forward movement, Russia has been actively developing energy direction of the economy.
And today it insistently invites foreigners: Come, gentlemen, let's work on the development of carbon resources together! But they tarry. Apparently, they are afraid of Russian frost, plenty of room, the difficulties of life outside the comfort, the fight with the harsh taiga and permafrost. Or maybe they are confused by the "mystery of the Russian soul", "oddities" of Russian life? Or, as MEP Bela Kovacs, speaking at the Energy Dialogue in Brussels, said: "Europe has lost its characteristic pioneering spirit"? Here we can remember the slogan that once was hung on the building of the Bratsk hydroelectric power station (on the Angara) by its young builders: "Who loses strength of spirit and faith in life - come to Siberia!"