By Mahnaz Abdi

Sarajeh UGS noticeably under development

October 25, 2020 - 15:25

Iran has two major natural gas storage facilities in Sarajeh and Shourijeh, in which every year the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) stores the gas received from gas refineries all over the country to be used in the colder months of the year.

As the first natural gas storage facility in Iran and West Asia, Sarajeh storage facility was officially inaugurated in January 2014 near Qom, 124 kilometers south of Tehran.

Sarajeh underground gas storage (UGS) is one of the strategic installations of Iran, given its role in supplying gas to Qom, Tehran, and northeastern provinces of the country during the cold season.

Following the development of the South Pars gas field and the increase in the country’s gas production capacity, construction and development of the country’s natural gas storage facilities has become a top priority.

As announced by the managing director of Iran Gas Transmission Company (IGTC), 1.25 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas has been injected into Sarajeh storage during the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-October 21), which was a record high, with 16.8 percent increase compared to the same period of time in the past year.

Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana said the achievement has been due to boosting the efficiency of turbines in the plant and also the noticeable performance of the company’s personnel.

IGTC has managed to increase the efficiency of Sarajeh underground gas storage through cooperation with local knowledge-based companies in the project to enhance the efficiency of turbines operating in the plant.

According to Jamshidi-Dana, the project was initially implemented as a pilot in one of the turbines. The turbine was in service for about 200 days and it experienced an efficiency increase of four to five megawatts.

He said that this project reduces the time of gas injection, in a way that if one billion cubic meters of gas were to be injected in six months, now it can be done in four months.

On October 10, the managing director of Iranian Central Oil Fields Company (ICOFC) said that the reproduction capacity of Sarajeh underground gas storage will exceed one billion cubic meters by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2021).

According to Ramin Hatami, over 902 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas was reproduced from Sarajeh storage in the previous Iranian calendar year, while 869 million cubic meters of gas was injected into this storage.

The reproduction capacity of the storage is expected to reach more than one billion cubic meters this year with the addition of at least 150 mcm to the injected gas, he said.

Referring to the company's complete readiness for supplying natural gas in winter, the official added: "With the increase of gas storage in the Sarajeh storage, we are fully prepared to supply and support the national gas line in the cold season.”

Reproduction from Sarajeh and Shourijeh storages increased by 33 percent in the past Iranian calendar year compared to the preceding year, according to Ahmad Rajabi, director of technical affairs at the National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC).

The mentioned storages supply gas to six northern and northeastern provinces that are far from the southern gas-rich regions, eliminating the need for importing gas from Turkmenistan.

As one of the world’s top gas producers, Iran is planning to expand its underground natural gas storage capacity to ensure that enough natural gas is available during peak demand periods to avoid electricity supply shortfalls in the future.

According to the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC)’s plans, the capacity of the two storage facilities, Sarajeh and Shourijeh, is planned to increase to over seven billion cubic meters in near future.

Back in November 2019, NIGC announced that the company had awarded the development project of Shourijeh gas storage facility to an Iranian company based on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract.

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