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15 Feb, 2012 14:21

Gazprom doubles gas storage to meet demand spikes

Russia’s Gazprom says it plans to double its underground storage capacity in Europe.

“It’s necessary because storage is a key instrument to the security of supply for extreme situations like this winter, because we cannot predict such a winter will not repeat next year or in the next five years”, said Mr. Medvedev. He added the firm has already approved the investment of up to 300 million Euros in the project. The “European market is still very fragmented” and another important measure to “improve the comprehensive gas-supply system in Europe and thus enhance energy security” is investment in the Nord Stream and South Stream gas trunk pipelines and other local gas interconnections, says Alexander Medvedev. The gas pipes are intended to carry natural gas more efficiently to European customers. “That is why we are investing heavily in new export gas pipelines and in the development of existing gas transportation capacities”, adds Mr. Medvedev.Recently a record cold snap boosted demand for Russian gas in Europe by 45% from the average winter level and the Russian company failed to meet it. Gazprom pointed out, that even though it was extracting gas from underground storage facilities in Europe at the maximum of over 38 million cubic metres per day; it could not supply European countries with sufficient gas.