Astana gasification gets off ground
Saryarka Social-Entrepreneurial Corporation (SEC) and KazTransGas JSC have jointly launched a project for exploration of methane gas in Karaganda coal basin. They want to use the fuel for gasification of Astana, Kazakhstan's capital Tengrinews reports with a reference to the press service of Karaganda Oblast municipal authorities.
KazTransGas JSC is the national gas company responsible for integration and development of gas sector, reliable and safe gas supply to consumers in Kazakhstan. It also aims to maximize profit from Kazakhstan gas export and utilizes the country’s transit capacity, works on improving the profitability from gas processing and sales at the domestic market.
The relevant cooperation agreement on the project of exploration in Sherubai-Nurinsky coal deposit between the two companies was signed on 5 April. All the obligations related to the execution of the exploration contract are born by the SEC, while the funding for the exploration works is provided by KTG.
Joint implementation of the project will solve the problem of gasification of Astana and Karaganda Oblast and will also help to solve a number of major socio-economic issues in Kazakhstan.
Currently, the total annual gas demand in Karaganda Oblast is at about 1-1.5 billion cubic meters. 30 percent of this amount is required to supply energy to the region, while the rest should cover the needs of the industry in the region.
The total annual gas demand of Astana is 1.1 billion cubic meters, of which about 600 million is needed for energy (CHP-1, CHP-2, CHP-3) and about 500 million is needed for domestic use.
A year ago, it was announced that the gasification project in Astana was postponed because of the high cost. In January this year, Minister of Energy said that the authorities were looking into the idea of supplying Astana with coal bed methane.
According to preliminary data, probable reserves of methane in Sherubai-Nurinsky coal-bearing area equal about 50 billion cubic meters - the amount enough to supply gas in the region for 20 years.
The exploration works are expected to be completed in 2015-2017. In case they produce good results, the new reserves will be put on the state balance, and methane production works will commence.
By Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina