Newly opened Russian pipeline will mean more Arctic gas for Europe

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - January 18, 2017

Gazprom’s new Bovanenkovo-Ukhta 2 pipeline will boost daily deliveries from the Yamal Peninsula to 264 million cubic meters.

The 1,265-kilometer-long (about 786-mile-long) pipeline was officially opened Wednesday by Gazprom chief Aleksey Miller. Present was also Yamal-Nenets Governor Dmitry Kobylkin was also present, and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended by a direct video link to the Kremlin.

“This is a good day, filled with positive events,” the president said. In the same video conference he took part in also the opening of two new oil pipelines operated by Transneft.

“This not only a pipe,” Putin said. “These are complicated and huge industrial objects,” a transcript from the Kremlin reads.

The Bovanenkovo-Ukhta 2 pipeline connects the huge Bovanenkovo fields with the federal gas grid. It is stretched westwards, across the Baydarata Bay and to the town of Ukhta in the Komi Republic. From there, most of the Yamal gas will continue westwards through the Ukhta-Torszhok pipelines and subsequently the Nord Stream pipeline connection.

According to Gazprom head Miller, the new pipeline will increase the flow of gas from the Arctic peninsula to 264 million tons per day. Gazprom will operate the Bovanenkovo until year 2087, he said. Another two gas compression stations will be built and 88 new wells drilled in the area, TASS reports.

The new pipeline complements the Bovanenkovo-Ukhta 1, which since 2012 has brought Yamal gas to the markets.

Yamal is the current top priority region of Gazprom and the Bovanenkovo gas field alone holds about 4.9 trillion cubic meters. Several more major gas deposits are located nearby.

“A new powerful gas transportation corridor is appearing on Russia’s gas map,” Aleksey Miller said in a company meeting in December 2016. “It will have great effect on the schemes of gas flows not only for Russian consumers, but also for our foreign markets,” he added.