Storage in the gas market
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Storage in the gas market

Bologna was the venue on 30 October for the conference titled “Role and Perspectives of Storage in the Methane Market�? held by industrial and energy research consultancy firm RIE. The essential role of storage for the proper operation of the entire gas supply industry was the theme addressed at the conference by Professor Alberto Clò of the University of Bologna, Carlo Malacarne, CEO of Snam Rete Gas, Liliana Panei of the Ministry for Economic Development, Tullio Fanelli of the Italian Authority for Electricity and Gas, Bruno Tani, Chairman of Anigas, and Duccio Campagnoli, Councillor for Productive Activities for the Region of Emilia-Romagna.

“The storage capacity,�? said Carlo Malacarne, “today stands at around 14 billion cubic metres, and the adjustment cushion, which is needed to physically balance the network and meet seasonal "peaks", is around 9 billion. What’s important is that the gas transported in the first 6 months of 2009 in the storage facilities was around 10 billion; considering that in Italy the annual consumption of gas is around 80 billion cubic metres, that means we are using and moving a huge amount of gas, which confirms the strategic importance of storage.�? Another central issue discussed at the conference was the vital investment needed for the greater storage capacity that will, among other things, be needed to support the development of the project to create a European gas hub in Italy. Carlo Malacarne observed that the storage expansion projects began as far back as 2002, just when the gas operators decided to develop the storage facilities which were beginning to take on a major role in the process of liberalisation of the gas market. But the authorisations were issued only recently. Then there is the issue of security of the system, and here Malacarne reminded the delegates that “in the 15 days when there were no imports from Russia, 2.2 billion cubic metres of gas was taken from the storage depots, with an average daily volume of 140 million cubic metres. We are talking about important amounts, enormous amounts.�?

 

An equally crucial issue is the role that storage facilities have in favouring flexibility of supply, the possibility of modulating the gas flows in line with the needs of the market. "If I were a European operator,�? concluded the CEO, “and I wanted to bring gas into Europe, I’d consider Italy to be the best country because it has the storage facilities, and the importation network, needed to combine the importation base with the flexibility of storage. And this is the winning hand for a commercial market +in Europe.�?

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05 August 2016 - 16:36 CEST