Role of Stranded Gas from Central Asia and Russia in Meeting Europe’s Future Import Demand for Gas
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Stranded gas is natural gas in discovered fields that is currently not commercially producible for either physical or economic reasons. This study examines stranded gas from Russia and Central Asia and the role it can play in addressing Europe’s growing demand for imported natural gas requiring additional volumes of gas in excess of 130 trillion cubic feet. We find sufficient volumes of stranded gas in fields in the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan in the Amu-Darya Basin and in Russian fields in the West Siberian Basin. The analysis focused on the estimated cost of extraction and delivery to a single market location for various concentrations of gas in stranded gas fields in Central Asia and Russia. At import prices of $10 per million British thermal units (MMBTU), there are sufficient gas resources in stranded fields that can be commercially developed and delivered to the European market. If, however, imported gas prices fall below $7 per MMBTU, most of the stranded gas evaluated from West Siberia will not be commercial. The costs of delivering gas from the largest stranded gas fields in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan were calculated to be greater than 30% below the costs of delivering gas from the largest stranded gas fields in Russia, which are located in the Yamal Peninsula. Central Asian gas producers, particularly those east of the Caspian Sea, have limited market options due to the near monopoly position that Gazprom holds in transporting pipeline gas from east of Europe. This study examines several additional options to supply gas to Europe by reviewing expected delivered costs from North African and Atlantic basin suppliers.
KeywordsStranded gas Gas markets Resource costs
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