oNe of our priorities
Alexei Miller. Chairman of the Board, OAO Gazprom
eNsuriNg a secure, reliable
aNd “greeN” supply of the
Alexander Medvedev. Deputy Chairman of OAO Gazprom Management Committee
and Director General of OOO Gazprom Export
coNcerN for ecology
Aleksandr ISHKOV. Doctor of Chemistry, Professor. Deputy Head of OAO Gazprom’s Gas Transportation,
Underground Storage and Utilization Department and Head of the Energy Conservation and Ecology Department
carboN tradiNg as a tool
for low carboN solutioNs
aNd the role of gm&t
Vitaly Vasiliev. Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Marketing & Trading London
policy – ecoNomic
Klaus Töpfer. Professor and Honorary Doctor of Science
Natural gas, the ideal fuel
to help develop reNewable
eNergy sources aNd eNable
with very low fuel use
Marc Florette. Research & Innovation President Gaz de France
Margareth Øvrum. Chief Executive Vice-president for the Technology & New Energy business area
the geopolitics of gas
Philippe Copinschi. French Expert
the baltic sea: aN ecosystem
Olof Lindén. Professor Sweden
aNd the impact oN eNergy markets
Coby van der Linde. Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP), The Netherlands
italy: some 570,000 Ngvs iN 2008:
a europeaN record iN the Natural
gas vehicles market that will
be iNcreased iN 2009–2010
Sergio A. Rossi. Italian analyst
why are so maNy italiaN
motorists switchiNg to gas?
Angelantonio Rosato. Italian journalist
ecology aNd oil-aNd-gas
productioN iN the arctic
Anatoly Dmitrievsky. Academic at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the RAS
Vyacheslav Maksimov. Deputy Director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the RAS
Chairman of the Board, ОАО Gazprom
As one of the world’s largest energy companies, Gazprom
not only strives to attain the highest production efficiency, but also to use
natural resources wisely in order to protect the long-term sustainability
of the environment. One of Gazprom’s firm priorities is to preserve the
We have a wide-ranging number of environmental goals, including
being particularly attentive to the environment in areas where our
gas industry operates, and using natural resources in a sustainable manner.
We work hard to ensure a safe environment for hydrocarbon exploration,
transportation and storage, as well as creating a safe and healthy
working environment for our employees.
With natural gas being the most environmentally-friendly
fossil fuel available, Gazprom has a minimal impact on the environment.
We nevertheless continue our efforts to decrease this impact even further.
We implement energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technology
annually and are constantly improving our environmental management
system. This requires substantial financial investments. In 2007,
Gazprom spent more than twelve billion rubles on environmental protection.
That same year, capital investment in environmental protection was
1.5 billion rubles.
This large-scale financial backing allows us to fulfill our
goals in an efficient manner, carry out short-term and long-term plans
while abiding by internationally-recognized regulations and rules for rational
natural resource management and environmental protection.
Gazprom’s environmental management system took many
years to create. At present, it unites more than two thousand environmentalists
working in practically all research and development areas. In
2007, Gazprom created an ecological inspection group and a committee
for coordinating environmental protection issues in order to enhance the
existing system. An independent audit of Gazprom’s environmental management
system, completed in 2007, endorsed the efforts made to abide
by environmental legislation. The conclusions of this audit confirm that
Gazprom continues to perfect its environmental management system in
order to be certified as compliant with the standards set by the International
Standardization Organization (ISO) 14001.
Gazprom’s environmental protection measures are monitored
through a system for industrial environmental controls. Control
gauges installed on emission sources record information that is consoli-
dated and analyzed together with the pollution data from the surrounding
areas where the company’s operations are located. This allows us to be
extremely confident in naming the causes for higher-than-usual amounts
of pollution and in determining the source(s).
Efforts to save energy around the world are a part of Gazprom’s
general policy. Increasing the efficiency of using natural gas,
electricity, thermal energy and various types of fuel during production
helps achieve energy conservation.
Energy saving is a relevant issue, primarily because of the
significant volumes of fuel resources used for gas extraction, transport,
processing and storage, due to the fact that production has to
be moved to areas which are increasingly further away from consumers.
Energy conservation, particularly with regards to decreasing gas
usage and loss during processing, will allow us to significantly lower
The Gazprom Energy Conservation Program 2007–2010 is
testimony to the importance of the environment within the company’s operations.
Through this program, we aim to save 9.3 billion cubic meters of
natural gas, 1175 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 1294 thousand
Gcal of thermal energy in three years. The program will cost 8.5 billion
rubles but will allow savings of 16.4 billion rubles.
Gazprom does not stand at the sidelines, but gets actively
involved in other sectors too. Automobiles are known as one of the main
sources of environmental pollution. For Gazprom, a supplier of the most
environmentally clean fossil fuel available, not to address this problem
would just not seem right. Natural gas is currently the best-placed energy
source to replace gasoline. Natural gas has numerous advantages
compared to gasoline, the main ones being that it is clean-burning and
Today, a fleet of over 9.5 million cars run on natural gas
which constitutes just a fraction of the total transportation fleet. Gazprom
is making efforts to increase this figure, amongst other by coordinating
a program called Developing the Network of Natural Gas
Gasoline-Stations and Cars Running on Natural Gas 2007–2015. This
program calls for building 200 gasoline stations which would offer
compressed natural gas, equipping all gasoline stations on federal
and regional roads with natural gas fuel supplies and thus decreasing
CO 2 emissions by 960 thousand tons per year. We welcome inter-
national efforts like the Blue Corridor project in Europe, designed to
help having freight transferred on vehicles that run on compressed
Just as in any other sphere, people working on ecology issues
must be professionals. Systematic educational courses for managers
and specialists aiming to increase their qualifications in the environmental
fields seem the way forward to ensure an adequate skill
level. Gazprom is also doing its part in this area. Gazprom’s continuous
vocational education system includes the scholarly research center for
advanced training at the Gubkin Russian State Oil and Gas University in
Moscow, the Industrial Research and Development Training Center in Kaliningrad,
and the Gazprom Corporate Institute.
Gazprom takes an open approach to working on environmental
sustainability. We are willing to share our knowledge and achievements
with anyone who may find them interesting or useful. We are active
participants in Russian and international fora, conferences and exhibitions
where we present the environmental aspects of our work and aspire
to learn from our colleagues.
In 1995, we were one of the first in Russia to adopt our own
environmental policy. In 2008, an amended and advanced policy was approved.
Gazprom’s responsibilities on preserving the environment and
on environmentally-safe production, along with its ecological and social
obligations, are becoming ever more important as the company grows internationally.
There is a direct correlation between our company’s stable
growth and new ways of using natural resources and preserving the environment
for future generations.
Deputy Chairman of OAO Gazprom Management Committee
and Director General of OOO Gazprom Export
Natural gas is the cleanest hydrocarbon fuel known today.
At Gazprom, we are dedicated to ensuring that natural gas is produced
and transported in an environmentally-friendly and reliable way.
It has been the cornerstone of our business for nearly 40 years, and
is central to our long-term goal of securing the world’s energy and
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), European
imports of natural gas are expected to “rise continuously to
more than two-thirds by 2030.” With regard to the United States, the
Department of Energy estimates that natural gas consumption in the
U.S. could increase from 634 billion cubic meters in 2004 to 733 billion
cubic meters by 2015, a jump of over 15%.
Our company is prepared to meet this growing demand.
Russia possesses one third of the world’s known natural gas reserves,
and currently one-quarter of the world’s production. Gazprom is the largest
Russian company in the natural gas industry, with 60% of Russia’s
proven reserves, 85% of its production, and 98% of its gas transportation
network. Under Russian law, Gazprom has the exclusive right to export
gas, which makes it responsible for one quarter of world gas exports.
In producing and exporting gas to our customers in over
20 countries, we are committed to living up to our ecological responsibilities.
The main objective of Gazprom’s strategy is to ensure stable
economic growth while preserving the natural environment everywhere
our facilities operate – all the while constantly assessing the effects of
our projects on the environment.
In 2007, Gazprom spent more than 12 billion RUB to protect
the environment, an 8.4% increase from 2006. We have set up an
Environmental Inspectorate whose goal is to improve the efficiency and
mitigate the carbon footprint of companies in the Gazprom Group. In
2007, water consumption, water removal and waste of Gazprom subsidiaries
were reduced by 2–3%. Pollutant emissions slightly increased
by 1.6%, but above-level emissions were reduced by 70%.
Our work does not end here. As Gazprom expands into
new markets and diversifies its business activities, our focus will always
be on continuing the reliable, secure supply of natural gas, and
ensuring that the “Blue Fuel” is as green as possible.
Doctor of Chemistry, Professor.
Deputy Head of OAO Gazprom’s Gas Transportation,
Underground Storage and Utilization Department
and Head of the Energy Conservatio
and Ecology Department
In September, 2008, the Management Committee of OAO
Gazprom adopted a new ecological policy for the company.
Gazprom has always contributed to the improvement of
the ecological situation not only in Russia, but also in European countries.
The large city of Moscow as well as many major industrial cities
of Russia experienced a dramatic improvement in the 1980s when they
switched from coal and fuel oil to natural gas.
The first supplies of gas to Germany resulted in a significant
decrease in hazardous emissions from thermal stations and power
plants, and then in a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Today, it
is impossible to imagine the cities of Germany, Austria, Italy and other
countries with a high quality of life without Russian gas. We’ve always
thought of ourselves not only as a supplier of energy, but of cleaner air
as well. This is why Gazprom declares the principle of sustainable development
as its basic operating principle.
The basis of our company’s strategy may be briefly described
as follows: dynamic economic development alongside optimal
rational use of natural resources and the maintenance of a favorable
environment for future generations.
Cost-effective resource use and energy efficiency are the
main components of Gazprom Group’s ecological policy. Every year, the
company reduces its own use of natural gas for its technological needs
and the losses of gas during its extraction and transportation by 3–5%.
After the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, Gazprom was among the first
Russian companies to begin tracking greenhouse gas emissions. We
adopted a specific energy-saving program which will make it possible to
decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 165 mmt until 2012.
It will allow an additional annual export of 55 bcm of Russian
gas to European countries, which will increase the share of natural gas
in the energy balance and will be a significant help to Europe in meeting
its obligations under the Kyoto protocol. The Nord Stream project is the
most environmentally friendly way to supply Russian gas. Transporting
gas to Germany through the underwater pipeline will produce only 1.47
mmt of СО 2 compared with 2.06 mmt if it were transported overland or
14.48 mmt if it were transported in LNG form.*
The parameters for the planned South Stream sea pipeline
are similar. Alongside renewable energy sources, using Russian gas
transported through a system of pipelines is in effect the only way to
implement the ambitious plans to decrease greenhouse gas emissions
in Europe by 2020.
Beside the energy sector, the ecological situation is
greatly affected by the transport sector. The Gazprom Group is actively
working towards the conversion of various types of vehicles to natural
gas. In Russia, the price of gas for automobile transport is 2–2.5 times
lower than the price of petrol. Gazprom’s program envisages the construction
of 200 gas filling stations in Russia, which will make it possible
to decrease emissions of toxic substances by almost 1.5 mmt,
while automobiles using natural gas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions
In June, 2008, Gazprom Management Committee’s Chairman
Mr. Alexei Miller proposed to European shareholders of OAO Gazprom
a project to create a large-scale network of automobile gas filling
stations in Europe. The first stage may be the project of the “Blue corridor”
from Rome to Helsinki intended for the use of natural gas (see the
In the future, it will be possible to create such corridors
alongside European highways. This may become one more factor in
cleaning up European transport, primarily with view to trucks and buses.
As part of our ecological strategy, we constantly decrease
the negative influence of all the factors of economic activity upon the
environment. OAO Gazprom is the leader in the realization of ecological
programs in Russia.
Annual expenditures on environmental protection measures
in the extraction and transportation of natural gas amount to
about €250 million. In new projects, environmental protection measures
constitute up to 5% of their total cost.
* Taken over an operating life of 50 years, transporting gas to Germany throudh the underwater
pipeline will produce 200 million tonnes less CO 2 than if it were transported overland.
Sourse: Wintershall, 2009, Nord Stream Eco-Efficiency Analisis, January 2009, page 12
Large-scale gasification programs for Eastern Siberia and
the Far East will make it possible to decrease the consumption of fuel oil
in these regions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25–30 mmt
a year by 2020. The planned decrease of toxic substance emissions is
very important for the delicate and unique ecological systems of Siberia
and the Far East.
By 2011, OAO Gazprom and its associated companies
(primarily its subsidiary OAO Gazprom Neft) will increase the use of associated
petroleum gas and low pressure gas to 95%, thus nearly ending
the practice of gas flaring.
The Gazprom Group has established a special company to
tap the gases of the Kuzbass coal beds, which will significantly improve
the ecological situation in the region through the use of the extracted
gas in public utilities and the transportation sector.
Gazprom employs a lot of ecological experts. We place
great importance on cooperation with Russian and international nongovernmental
organizations. All of Gazprom Group’s projects are sub-
ject to public consultations on different levels. During the earliest design
stages, the opinions of international and regional ecological organizations
are taken into account.
By combining the economic and ecological advantages of
natural gas, OAO Gazprom strives to become not only a global energy
company but also a leader in the quest for sustainable development.
Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom
Marketing & Trading London
Growing scientific evidence of the impact of human activities
on climate change and a high economic price which may be
paid by communities for inaction led governments to come up with
an international regime aimed at combating the adverse conditions
of climate change. Resulting carbon trading activities prompted the
development of a new environmental market, which is expected to
be valued at €400 billion by 2012.
The Kyoto Protocol, which established the market rules,
came into force in February 2005. The major feature of the Protocol
is that it sets mandatory emission reduction targets for signatories,
ranging from -8% to +10% of countries’ 1990 baseline emission levels.
These targets aim to reduce overall emissions by 5.2% below
the baseline during the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012.
The Kyoto Protocol incorporates three market-based
mechanisms aimed at providing flexible means of complying with
carbon reduction targets. These are: i) International Emissions Trading,
ii) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and iii) Joint Implementation
(JI). These mechanisms were designed to help identify
the lowest-cost opportunities for reducing emissions by allowing
investment into countries where abatement costs per tonne of CO 2
are cheaper than in industrialised countries.
CDM helps developing countries to achieve sustainable
development by permitting industrialised countries to finance
emission reduction projects in developing countries. JI works in a
similar fashion, except the investment is made in a country that has
a binding emission reduction target. Additionally, a JI country willing
to participate in carbon trading activities should fulfil certain eligibility
criteria to ensure accurate calculation and recording of all
carbon emission reduction units. Those units are recorded in the
national registry and deducted from a JI country’s assigned amount
eu ets and PoweR sectoR
Demand for carbon credits is largely driven by the European
Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which is the
largest cap-and-trade system worldwide. A large proportion of the
most carbon intensive installations corresponding to 45% of total
CO 2 emissions in the EU have received a free allocation of allow-
ances (EUAs) which consequently cap the amount of CO 2 that may
be emitted into the atmosphere. Given that energy production and
consumption is responsible for just over 80% of total EU-25 greenhouse
gas emissions, the power sector shows the highest need for
offsetting emissions, either by switching to a lower carbon fuels
such as natural gas, or introducing energy efficiency measures at
installation, reducing energy consumption and, hence, CO 2 released
into the atmosphere.
Alternatively, they could purchase additional emission
reduction units to fulfil their compliance up to the limit permitted by
each Member State. Generally speaking, carbon prices are affecting
investment decisions by power generators going forward both
in terms of wanting to burn clean fuel efficiently and diversifying the
Russia and the Kyoto PRotocol
Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Russia has so far
been the biggest milestone in world action against climate change
and is by far the most significant achievement of modern environmental
politics, economics and law. To come into force, Kyoto needed
to be ratified by developed nations that account for at least 55%
of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. After the USA pulled out,
that figure could only be reached with the support of Russia, which
accounts for 17% of world GHG emissions. Ratification by Russia was
therefore critical in making the aspirations of Kyoto legally binding.
Russia’s individual target under Kyoto is to maintain
GHG emissions at 1990 levels up until 2012. However, years of economic
decline and collapse of the USSR has resulted in Russia’s
current emissions being lower than 1990, creating a surplus of AAUs
more commonly known as “hot air”.
Russia’s surplus, without any further measures and policies,
stands at 5.4Gt over the Kyoto period. It means that if Russia
continues emitting more GHG that it currently does, it is still likely
to comply with 1990 levels by 2012. However, this surplus could be
quickly “eaten up” by the developing economy, leaving no room for
manoeuvre in the future. Given that energy use per unit of GDP in
Russia is estimated to be at least three times greater than for EU-15,
Russia should be promoting energy savings and creating economic
incentives for Russian businesses not to waste energy resources.
Therefore, financial resources should be attracted to Russia through
the JI mechanism as they would promote implementation of low carbon
technologies and environmentally friendly industry practices.
the Russian Ji PRoJect PiPeline
On 28th May 2007, the Russian government adopted
the first set of provisions able to allow approval of JI projects and
trading of carbon credits. However, those set of provisions have not
been put into practice so far as no approval has been granted by the
Russian government to a JI project. As of June 20, 2008 Russia has
fulfilled eligibility requirements for trading carbon emission reductions.
However, without an operational approval system no trades
can be completed.
Despite those hurdles, the Russian pipeline now consists
of 84 projects expected to reduce emissions by 135 million t
of CO 2 e by 2012. Given the global role Russia has as the dominant
global gas supplier, it is not a coincidence that the majority of projects
both by number and by volume are gas related. Methane avoidance
at distribution pipelines tops the list with other types such as
associated gas flaring, fuel switch from coal to gas and energy efficiency
projects contributing to infrastructure upgrade and promotion
of energy saving technologies.
If 1.5 billion t CO 2 e of project-based emission reductions
are transacted on the international carbon market, the Russian
industries may receive up to 30 (billion Euro) in carbon revenues.
The carbon market players, including GM&T are closely overseeing
the development of JI market in Russia. We are certain that the Russian
government will capitalise on the opportunities offered by the JI
Mechanism and undertake all necessary steps to support and nourish
this emerging market.
GM&t’s Role in caRbon MaRKets
GM&T, as a trading arm of Gazprom, aims to maximise
the value of the supply portfolio by delivering competitive and innovative
products to our energy customers in liberalising markets.
Through our UK retail business we were the first company to offer
our customers carbon neutral natural gas. The strength of our underlying
gas portfolio provides the platform to trade across all energy
commodities. We are continuing to build a multi-commodity trading
desk offering gas, LNG, power, carbon and oil, which will boost
our competitive edge.
GM&T has a unique position to bridge carbon positions
of its customers in Western Europe and upstream CDM and JI
project opportunities, which GM&T could derive from the Gazprom
Group carbon project portfolio as well as Gazprom’s business partners
across the globe. A combination of a natural position in the
biggest JI market along with well-developed customer networks in
the countries of high Kyoto compliance demand puts GM&T in an
advantageous position to become the leading carbon market player
in the world.
We pay a great deal of attention to the development of
post-2012 negotiations, with firm belief that a consensus between
the developed and developing world will be found in order to safeguard
a sustainable future for generations to come.
Professor and Honorary Doctor
of Science, Germany
1. Environmental policies, and in particular those policies
which focus on concrete and effective measures to tackle climate change,
have finally become a topic of discussion in the most important circles – they
now form part of negotiations and decision-making among heads of state
If one had to name all the spheres of German life to be declared
a “matter of national importance” in recent years, it would be a long list. Of
course the development of pensions and healthcare system spending, the
minimum wage and the availability of kindergarten spaces are all key challenges
for the future of an aging and shrinking population, which is becoming
ever more heterogeneous as a consequence of globalization and worldwide
But what about environmental policy? In a best case scenario, it
represents a wonderful topic of discussion for the ministers of natural resources
and economics experts, accompanied by scepticism from ministers of the
economy, business communities and even trade unions. Again and again, either
directly or indirectly, questions arise whether an environmental protection policy
might hurt a region’s industrial competitiveness. Does it not result in restrictions
for the nation’s citizens? But there is a call to only take action once all the world’s
nations become equally involved in the process, without any emphasis placed on
their dramatically diverging initial conditions. According to this populist demand,
every country represented in the United Nations must restrict its CO 2 emissions
by equal levels – regardless of whether it has spent years or even decades releasing
enormous amounts of CO 2 into the atmosphere for free, and continues
to release 20 tons of CO 2 per capita per year, or whether its per capita emissions
stand at no more than three tons per year, or whether it pollutes the atmosphere
with just one ton of CO 2 per capita per year. The above figures are the exact
actual data for the United States, China and India. One may thus conclude that
it is the emerging nations, including India and China, that keep bringing us back
to the principle adopted at the Rio de Janeiro summit in 1992: “A common, but
differentiated responsibility” which called for a global, yet locally differentiated,
approach to tackling climate change.
2. The developed nations’ argument was severely hurt by data
from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Open to scientists
from across the world, this scientific research association, which was created
to study the causes and factors affecting climate change, presented powerful
evidence that CO 2 and other gases contained in the atmosphere are the
real cause of global warming. Global average temperatures were shown to
have risen by about 0.8°C. There is striking evidence that this relatively small
global warming has already had severe effects on the environment. This
suggests that if we are unable to halt this process, a rise of 2°C will result in
significant changes to people’s living conditions. Glaciers melting, a sharp
reduction in the amounts of polar ice, changes in vegetation, desertification,
violent weather that will become ever more frequent and severe – these are
the measurable consequences of the climate change that is already proven
to be caused by mankind.
3. Moreover, the latest scientific data confirms that the degree
of warming we have seen so far does not reflect the true extent of climate
change that has already been caused. There are also reports that air pollution
caused by particles contained in the aerosols, primarily in Asian countries
(China and India), has resulted in a slowdown of the climate change process.
Therefore, the successful clean-air policy that is so urgently needed to ensure
the health of these regions’ populations would simultaneously result in
an acceleration of the warming process itself. Taking this effect into consideration
it becomes clear that the world is already facing harmful climate gases
that may cause temperatures to rise by more than 2°C.
4. These scientific findings clearly show that the so-called
“three D strategy” is completely irresponsible:
“Deny” the facts;
“Delay” specific actions and measures;
and, consequently, “Do nothing.”
People across the world can no longer accept this strategy,
which would lead to the climate change process crossing that threshold at
which we will be able to tackle it with economically justifiable costs and technical
ability. In a detailed study commissioned by the British government, former
World Bank Chief Economist Sir Nicholas Stern calculated the critical
cost of a climate change process that has gone out of control. However, it is
essential to be conscious of the following fact: some of the damage caused
by climate change is already irreparable and needs to be minimised. The developing
nations, which are bearing the brunt of this unavoidable change,
have neither the financial nor technical means to correct it and, justifiably, are
expecting support from the industrialized nations.
5. This is evident: we cannot afford any further delays in implementing
an effective climate change policy. Certain economic difficulties cannot
warrant the delay or substantial weakening of an environmental protection
policy. However deep the effects of economic crises and critical times may be,
they are rectifiable, albeit with significant negative consequences for many
people. As we see today, an almost deliberately ruined global financial system
is being rescued with the help of the guarantees of billions of dollars. But we will
never be able to regain control of a ruined planet or a climate change process
that has gone beyond its ‘tipping point’. The effects that climate change will
have on future generations are unpredictable. Climate change will lead to the
destabilization of societies and substantial migration flows across the globe.
On those grounds, an effective and credible environmental protection policy is
a crucial instrument of preserving peace in our time.
6. A successful and consistent environmental protection policy
is necessary to safeguard people’s living conditions and their peaceful development.
An energy policy that provides the utmost support to an environmental
policy represents a highly profitable investment in the future. An increasing
demand for energy from a growing world population and global economy – an
economy that simply must undergo internal reforms that are urgently needed
to overcome poverty in the world’s emerging nations – can no longer be met by
fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas alone. However at this stage more
than 70% of the world’s energy demand is met by fossil fuels.
Recent years have shown that the surging demand for energy
is significantly outpacing supplies. The latest changes in fossil fuel prices cannot
hide the fact that this correlation between supply and demand will become
even more acute in the future. This will substantially affect energy security and
competitiveness in various economies. For this reason, further global economic
growth will need a diversification of energy sources and an almost revolutionary
improvement in energy efficiency. Achieving this will be only possible with the
introduction of progressive technologies to our energy markets. Accordingly,
investment in the development and utilization of non-fossil fuels – in particular
renewable energy sources – is a prerequisite of any environmental policy. This is
equally the case for intensive research into ways to increase energy efficiency.
The focus of these studies must include energy transportation,
particularly on ways to transmit electric currents. New solutions in the area of
high-voltage direct current transmission technology are opening new prospects
for the transmission of electricity over great distances, which is currently
inefficient. Decentralized power generation places different demands
on power grids than those they have to meet today. Further, it is necessary to
increase substantially the volume of research conducted into energy storage,
particularly in batteries as well as the storage and utilization of hydrogen. In
addition, there is an emerging need to establish a direct link between the consumers
and producers of energy by using intelligent IT solutions. So-called
Smart Grid research and development projects are now a priority. They have
already reached a development level that permits large-scale pilot projects.
Their universal implementation will help save energy and cut costs while creating
new opportunities in the job market.
7. Environmentally friendly and low-carbon energy supplies, as
well as the efficient utilization of our growing energy demand, offer tremendous
prospects for the German economy. The introduction of new energy
products to the market and taking a leading role in the development of energy
saving technologies will create new areas of production and additional jobs.
The promotion of such a modernization in energy policy, focusing on supply
and demand, is an effective tool for overcoming economic crises – which will
also be of crucial importance on a global scale. It is clear that a tremendous
wealth gap still exists between people in the world. Ever since the days of
the Rio de Janeiro Summit in 1992, the ‘Rio Principles’ include the “right to
development” that applies to all societies and people across the globe. It is
essential to eliminate poverty and existing wealth inequalities if we want to
ensure our planet’s peaceful development. “Development is the new name of
peace,” Pope Paul VI prophetically noted in his “On the Development of the
Peoples” (“Populorum Progressio”) address.
The Nobel Laureates invited by Doctor Schellnhuber to the Potsdam
Institute for Climate Impact Research had every right to emphasize particularly
this two-fold challenge. It is essential to prevent further climate change,
without hindering the development of a major part of the world’s population.
Combining these two goals is the fundamental challenge for our world.
8. In order to achieve the transition from energy supplies, which
are over 70% based on fossil fuels, to low-carbon supplies, the individual energy
sources must make different contributions. It is undeniable that, of the
fossil fuels, natural gas is the most favourable in terms of the CO 2 emissions
involved in power generation. It is therefore rational to explain how carbon emissions
may be reduced by using gas in highly efficient power generation installations.
Close cooperation between the power generation industry and builders of
power plants is crucial. A transition to new levels of efficiency has already been
achieved. Further efficiency improvements are possible through the introduction
of new technologies, mainly by a consistent use of tri-generation. It should
be further stressed that in its material application, gas plays an important role in
the value creation – especially in the chemical industry. For this reason, investments
in a reliable gas supply system and the efficient utilization of energy – in
both its power generating and material use – are key to an environmental policy
in times of transition to a sustainable energy supply structure. At the same time,
gas can clearly gain added significance for clean coal technologies. The utilization
of clean coal will, if only because of its availability in fast growing developing
nations, require significant research and the development of practical technologies
in the industrialized nations. At the same time effective use of the various
fossil fuels could make an important contribution to the transition phase of our
environmental protection policy and help ensure world economic stability.
the ideal fuel
to help develop
Research & Innovation
President Gaz de France
with very low
In France, buildings consume 42.5% of the total energy
volume and account for 23% of greenhouse gas emissions. The housing
construction sector has a huge potential in reducing energy consumption,
and politicians are putting high stakes on reducing demand
for energy resources to provide Factor Four.
New construction is already regulated by stricter and
stricter thermal requirements, however, these requirements have only
recently begun to be applied to old buildings.
The market for repair works has especially great potential
value, as it represents 99% of stock, and 3/4 of buildings. However,
technical specifications are most essential to already existing objects,
as it is a question of not only replacing systems, but also about
strengthening building’s insulation, while simultaneously preserving
Increasing building efficiency demands development of
pioneering global concepts for new construction or modernization.
In this context, Gaz de France is promoting a “bioclimatic concept”
which optimally adapts a building to its environment and promotes a
decrease in heating energy consumption and optimization of comfort
during the summer periods.
This global concept includes interaction of all building
construction chain factors which did not exist before.
The situation becomes more complicated because the
variety of energy sources existing in a building will increase. Hence it
will not only be gas and electricity, but also solar energy, that is more
and more in demand, and photoelectric solar energy to be used for
the production of electricity. All these energy sources should coexist,
reduce the cost of investments and provide good returns. If
at present, the construction of a building with very high power efficiency
means a rise in cost of 10–15%, the cost will be partially
compensated during its life cycle (i.e. construction, operation and
An advantage-trio – meaning a building corresponding to
bioclimatic criteria, with good insulation, equipped with a highly effective
gas heating system, combined with renewable energy sources
provides an answer to forthcoming changes in French energy policy
suggested by the Grenelle Environment Round Table.
Round table PRoPosals:
a bReaKthRouGh in new constRuction
and unPRecedented scale of theRMal
ModeRnization of existinG buildinGs
Ambitious proposals of Grenelle Environment Round Table in
the field of decreasing the energy use in buildings should be realized taking
into consideration the comfort and quality of air inside the building. This
will be achieved by means of effective ventilation (in particular a dual air
stream recuperating heat from expelled air) and also acoustic qualities of
the building. Finally, it will be necessary to provide inhabitants with simple
and practical control facilities aimed at optimizing the operational cost.
There are also other requirements to support the efforts of
those involved. The regulation for thermal specifications of already built
buildings will be officially applied to areas exceeding 1000m 2 and with
modernization work exceeding 25% of the total value of the building built
since April 1998. However since July 2007 this decision concerned only
the replacement of power supply systems.
Diagnostics of energy savings are also added at the time of
the sale or rent of the real estate object. This are good means to stimulate
the tenant or to allow him or her to evaluate his building in terms of energy
savings, and also a way to supervise the level of building legislation application.
However, two conditions are added to this: updating these means
on a scientific basis with the purpose of understanding the real power efficiency
of various systems, and training how to use these various systems.
natuRal Gas: the Most efficient fuel
in teRMs of co 2 in coMPaRison with otheR
non-Renewable eneRGy souRces
In this context, natural gas provides efficiency which is required
from various points of view. First of all, this is the fuel producing least
greenhouse gases among all types of mineral raw materials used for power
generation, and it directly challenges heating by means of electricity.
Indeed, heating with natural gas generates less greenhouse
gas emissions than direct electric heating. This in fact produces a corresponding
amount of electricity generated by the French or European thermal
power stations which emit a lot of СО 2 . These power stations emit from
400g СО 2 per kW/hour (the most effective, with a combined gas cycle) and
up to almost 1000g СО 2 , in the case of coal-fired power stations.
The contents of СО 2 per kW/hour of electricity produced for
provision of the electric heating corresponds to approximately 600g СО 2
per kW/hour of electricity. For comparison, we can say that natural gas
used for heating emits approximately 230g СО 2 per kW/hour.
In addition, natural gas allows evolutionary solutions which
will take various forms in the future: condenser boilers and mixed systems
using thermal sun energy with natural gas are already widespread on the
French market; combined heaters – electric generators and gas thermal
pumps provide the opportunity for innovative solutions with a notable
increase in energy savings. All these solutions are intended for efficient
supply of energy needs at existing buildings, and simultaneously provide
answers for ambitious aims of achieving a level of efficiency proposed
within the framework of the Grenelle Environment Round Table.
it is alReady a hiGhly effective
solution to PRobleMs in PReseRvinG
The condensation technology provides an efficiency increase
of 10–20% in comparison with traditional boilers and allows the
achievement of a very high level of standards namely HPE (High Energy
Performance), THPE (Very High Energy Performance) and even BBC (Low
Energy Consumption). The last standard was put forward by the Grenelle
Environment Round Table for year 2012 (50kW/hour/m 2 per year).
This technology, whose market share is naturally increasing
every year, answers the growing demands of consumers who are
more and more concerned with environmental problems. Its development
will not slow down in the coming few years, especially if one combines
a condenser boiler with an individual solar hot water panel for
the production of hot water for sanitation needs. Indeed, condensation
combining renewable energy sources with solar energy in particular
is very effective These technical solutions are already available on
the market. Over 300 000m 2 thermal converters of solar energy were
installed in 2006, of which 220 000 in France; this is a growth of 83% in
comparison with 2005 (source: EU-Observer) and proves the dynamic
development of the sector.
However, despite the fact that condensation technology is
already quite developed today, it needs technical improvement in two key
aspects. First is the concept of modulating heat at a lower capacity to
decrease energy use of buildings, and secondly, perfection of technical
solutions in removing combustion products in re-erected and existing
electRic GeneRatoR heateR:
soon to aPPeaR on the individual
Development of technical solutions with the use of natural
gas will allow moving further down the path of constructing buildings
with very low energy consumption levels. An electric generator heater,
capable of providing very effective heating with simultaneous production
of electricity is one specific example of production that will be developed
in the next few years.
The heater designed for the private market, with an electric
generator and Stirling motor develops 1kw of electricity (kWe) per 14 or
28 watt of heat (kWth). It would cover, 100% of heating and hot water supply
needs, and also a part of electricity needs for standard habitation.
Such heating devices can be wall or floor-mounted, and
provide the user with significant financial savings, allowing a reduction of
10–15% of an energy bill. As for condenser heating devices, they provide
excellent efficiency, and remain in the range of traditional tariffs and parameters.
For even greater increase of efficiency, they can be combined
with solar energy converters for the production of hot water for technical
Two or three manufacturers have already begun this development.
They will present their models at the next international exhibition
(Interclima 2008), before releasing them on the French, German or
Dutch markets in 2009. Gaz de France heartily supports this technology
and promotes it at demonstration events. Of forty installations intended
for practical tests during the winter 2007–2008 period, eight have already
been put into operation and the clients are very satisfied.
In the long-term future, these heating installations could also
be equipped with a fuel element. This is a very effective technology however
it is still underdeveloped n in terms of costs and operational life.
Gas theRMal PuMPs: systeMs usinG
fRee-of-chaRGe eneRGy fRoM the enviRonMent
The thermal gas pump (PAC gaz) is a heating solution providing
comfortable temperatures at home, partially owing to the use of
free-of-charge energy, recuperated from the environment. This advantage
gives it first class power efficiency, with high efficiency in primary
energy, from 1.2 to 1.6, which corresponds to sizes from 3.1 to 4.2 in
efficiency equivalents of electric thermal pumps (PAC). Therefore they
will play their role in technical solutions of the future, aiming at more
These products are already available in the market for public
buildings, services and the housing sector and their capacity is 20–80kw.
These products are usually reversible, and also allow comfort during the
summer period if required. Certainly, an optimized concept of a building
should include this compatibility.
As for private houses, thermal gas pumps of small capacity
– no more 10kw – are in the stage of development. They will provide an
energy saving of 20–30% in comparison with a condenser boiler. Some
builders are talking of industrial production prospects by 2010, and Gaz
de France is working on releasing these products on the French market
as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the fact that research in the field of traditional
energy sources, carried out by power engineers and equipment manufacturers
allows significant improvements in power efficiency that results
in big savings for the consumer is not publicized often.
In particular, this research allows gas technology to derive
maximum advantage of the environmental qualities of this type of energy
accessible on the broadest scale. This brief overview of technology for
building construction shows a variety of solutions offered when using
natural gas at the time when France and the European Union have started
their fight against climate change.
Executive Vice-president for the Technology
& New Energy business area
StatoilHydro has decided to increase its efforts regarding
renewable energy sources. We already see our natural gas position
as an important bridge to provide a cleaner energy future. By
entering into renewables the main aim is to support StatoilHydro’s
growth ambition by building a profitable and scalable business also
within this energy sector.
Such engagements both leverage our competencies
and positions from the oil and gas sector, and can provide added
value to our oil and gas position by broadening and deepening our
market presence as energy producers in key consumer regions.
Renewable energy development should not be regarded
as a defensive measure, but rather as a business opportunity which
is being enlarged by the climate change challenge. It is also a fact
that the growth in the renewable energy sector has outperformed oil
and gas stocks over the last five years.
StatoilHydro’s renewable energy engagement can be
grouped into the following main categories:
Renewable power production
Sustainable fuel production
Our main emphasis is built around the areas:
Wind and offshore renewables
The emerging nature of many new energy opportunities
makes it difficult to “pick the winners” of the future. In order to build
our capabilities and a long term portfolio we also develop some options
in other selected areas like hydrogen, solar and geothermal.
why focus on Renewable eneRGy
The attractiveness of the renewable industry is increasing
due to its large growth potential, increasing environmental concerns
(especially related to the climate challenge and local air quality),
high fossil energy prices and concerns related to security of
supply. Even though renewable energy sources still account for a
small amount of the total global energy mix, it is a fast growing industry,
with significant value creation for investors, and also providing
an increasingly important contribution to combat climate change.
Some of the drivers for new energy – climate change,
security of supply and local pollution – also pose challenges to StatoilHydro’s
oil and gas activities. We would like a strong company
for the future realising material oil and gas developments, as well as
growing renewable energy as a new growth area – creating value for
can Renewable eneRGy
oust fossil fuels?
Most new energy forms require some form of premium,
or incentives, to be cost competitive for consumers today. However,
the most developed forms of renewable energy, such as onshore
wind and bio power, are already competitive with the expected costs
of coal and gas power in many regions.
Questions have been asked about whether a “subsidised”
market is by nature inefficient. This challenge is important
to consider, but it is often a question of how much time it takes
to bring new technologies into a commercial market position. As
technology is improved and market volumes increase we have realised
strong cost reductions within both wind, bio power and solar.
As for most other industrial sectors a certain innovation stimulus
has also been required for renewable energy. Needless to say, the
cost of CO 2 will also have an effect on the relative competitiveness
of renewable energy.
The countries with most efforts within renewable energy
today are countries within the European Union as well as the US, with
a combination of strong political ambitions, mandatory targets and
a range of government incentives to bring forward the alternatives
to fossil fuels.
It should also be noted that fossil fuel markets are upheld
by heavy regional subsidies at the consumer end. Still, in order
to close the gap between cost of fossil-based energy and renewable
energy, renewable energy need to become less capital intensive
and more cost efficient (the energy cost is however normally
free!). Focus will therefore be on achieving economy of scale, technology
improvements, increased capacity of the installations, as
well as improved solutions for operation and maintenance.
foR Renewable PoweR PRoduction
The global power demand is anticipated to grow further.
The power sector is commonly considered as the sector with the
largest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest
possible cost, mainly due to its large single point sources of CO 2
output, with potential for both increased energy efficiency and introduction
of renewable energy.
Some of the key considerations for introduction of renewables
into the power sector includes assessments of what renewables
are available resources for the particular region – e.g.
such as wind, solar, geothermal or other? Other important issues
to consider are whether the renewable sources provide base load
or peak load energy, whether grid capacity is sufficient and at what
cost the renewable source can be phased into the energy portfolio
over time. There is a wide variation in sources and potential, and
today we can see countries like Denmark and Spain being supplied
by more than 15–20% renewable energy from onshore wind production,
whereas other countries like the UK and US have strong
growth ambitions from a small initial renewable position.
Offshore wind energy has a large potential and is a rapidly
growing business. It is expected to be one of the most important
tools for achieving Europe’s goal on CO 2 emission reductions in the
power sector. The main challenge to offshore power production is to
bring the costs.
StatoilHydro’s ambition is to become a leading offshore
renewable energy provider based on a unique technology
position. Offshore power production is based on our core offshore
The transport sector is among the largest sources of
CO 2 emissions, with few alternatives to cut emissions than simply
reduce driving. There is a political push for alternative fuels, partly
driven by climate concerns, but also to a large extent by a desire for
energy security and to support regional agricultural industry.
StatoilHydro aims to build a business on sustainable
biofuel production. At the same time, we wish to position ourselves
for longer term growth in low cost next generation biofuel technology
as well as hydrogen technology for the transportation sector.
Biofuel provides an attractive business growth opportunity
based on a large political demand for biofuel in transportation.
Biofuels based on appropriate feedstock also represent a clear CO 2
reduction opportunity within the transportation sector being achievable
in the short to medium term.
Ethanol produced from tropical sugar has a production
cost competitive with gasoline. However, tariff barriers protecting
agricultural interests in the US and EU represent a real economic
challenge in moving these products into the market.
Significant criticism has been raised regarding the sustainability
of biofuels. This scepticism is a challenge to the business.
StatoilHydro has developed internal policies for sourcing and production
of biofuels to address these concerns and has a clear target
of only entering into sustainable biofuel production. Development of
new second generation biofuel technology is also expected to mitigate
many of these challenges.
Gas, eneRGy of the futuRe
Even though for many years, storage difficulties and high transmission
costs have seen gas largely abandoned in favor of oil and coal, natural gas has
reached its zenith today. Although gas still faces competition from other energy
sources, the global consumption of natural gas has been steadily on the rise over
the past 30 years or so. At the moment, gas is responsible for 20% of the overall
global consumption of primary energy sources, compared to 16% in 1973. According
to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the share held by gas will continue
to grow and reach 24% by 2030. This trend is even more clearly pronounced in
Europe. Alongside renewable energy sources, gas is one of the energy resources
whose usage is growing fastest of all: European gas consumption has doubled
over the past 30 years, while that of oil has remained almost at one level over the
same period. Natural gas is primarily used in sectors requiring the production of
thermal energy: the housing sector and commerce, to provide heat for premises
and for kitchen use, in industry and electrical power production.
The current rise in demand for gas is explained by a number of advantages
enjoyed by this primary source of energy. First of all, the global reserves of
natural gas are substantially greater than those of oil: at the current rate of production,
the world has enough gas reserves to last for at least 60 years. In comparison,
this figure stands at around 40 years for oil. Second of all, gas is a considerably
less polluting source of energy than the other fossil fuels. Gas does not emit any
dust or sulfur oxides when burning. And most importantly, it emits a substantially
smaller amount of greenhouse gases than either coal or oil do. Thirdly, gas is perfectly
suited for the combined production of electric power and heat: the energy
efficiency of gas-fired power plants stands at about 60% for combined cycle power
plants. In other words, their efficiency is substantially higher than that of traditional
coal-fire power plants (45% at best) and nuclear power plants (just 35%). This ratio
approaches 90% at co-generating plants that use natural gas to simultaneously
produce both electric and thermal power. Fourth of all, the construction cost of
gas-fired power plants (per kilowatt of installation) is relatively low in comparison to
other types of power plants. Finally, the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
technology is now permitting gas to be transported in tankers over great distances.
This, in turn, is leading to the diversification of markets, for both the producers and
euRoPe and Russia, histoRical and PRivileGed PaRtneRs
For all these reasons, gas is an energy source that Europe will
require in ever-greater amounts if it wants to achieve its political, economic
and environmental goals: in other words, to reduce its greenhouse gas emis-
sions while at the same time ensuring that its economy is supplied with reliable
and cheap sources of energy. A number of European Union nations are
producing natural gas on their territories, including the Netherlands, Britain
and Denmark (three exporting nations), as well as Italy and France. The
European Union’s domestic production provides for about 45% of its total
consumption. The remainder is imported, primarily from Russia, Norway and
North Africa (Algeria and Libya).
Holding the largest gas reserves in the world (around 30% of global
reserves), Russia is for obvious geographic reasons a historical and privileged
supplier for Europe. Despite the increased competition with other suppliers bordering
Europe – countries such as Algeria, Libya and Norway (which do not, however,
have considerable reserves) – energy ties between Europe and Russia are
of strategic importance to both partners. Russian gas deliveries to Europe, which
are based on long-term contractual relations, have never been interrupted, even
during the days of the Cold War. In return, European gas sales provided Russia
with the much needed capital ensuring its economic development.
The gradual depletion of gas reserves in the North Sea is forcing Europeans
to establish new supply routes. After all, the transmission of gas requires
the construction of heavy infrastructure – either in the form of pipelines, or in the
form of terminals for gas liquefaction (in producing nations) or regasification (in importing
ones) when dealing with LNG transports. Numerous gas terminals are currently
being built in all major countries of Europe (Britain, Spain, Italy, France, and
so on). They are meant to ensure that over time, natural gas may be imported from
more distant countries such as Qatar or the sub-Sahara nations in Africa. Eventually,
around 25% of all the gas imported to Europe will arrive in the form of LNG.
But the most strategic projects for ensuring future European
supplies involve the construction of new pipelines – North Stream and South
Stream – that will be enable the delivery of gas from fields that are currently
undergoing development. These projects are of critical importance to the longterm
reliability of supplies in Europe, whose domestic resources (primarily
those in the North Sea) are dwindling fast. It is essential that Europe ensures
that these infrastructure projects are being realised, since they will guarantee
Europe that the gas produced in Russia and Central Europe is destined for its
own needs. In fact, this type of infrastructure places both sides (the suppliers
and the customers) in a state of interdependence. On the other hand, that is
exactly where things between Europe and Russia stand now: while 25% of the
gas consumed in Europe is being imported from Russia, the gas that Europe
imports represents 75% of all of Russia’s exports. Under such circumstances,
both parties remain interested in observing their contractual obligations, just as
Europe and Russia have always done.
the histoRy of the baltic sea
The Baltic Sea is a relatively young part of the Atlantic Ocean.
During the last ice-age which ended only about 15,000 years ago, the entire
Baltic basin was covered with a huge glacier. During the subsequent 5,000 to
8,000 years, the area where the present Baltic Sea is situated went through
a series of developmental stages characterized by fresh water alternating
with completely marine conditions, interrupted by short periods of brackish
water. The Baltic Sea of today is a product of these dramatic changes and
we should remember that the changes continue. Therefore we have to understand
that some of the changes we witness today are in fact reflections of
these ongoing geological post-glacial processes.
the PResent baltic
The ecosystem of the present Baltic Sea is very much characterized
by the brackish water conditions. This is also what makes the
Baltic Sea unique among other marginal seas of the world. The salinity of
the Baltic proper is about 8 o/oo in the south and 6 o/oo in the north at
Åland. This is only about 1/5 of the normal Atlantic salinity. The salinity drops
further north in the Bothnian Sea and the Bothnian Bay to on 2 to 3 o/oo
in the far north. The salinity is an important ecological factor affecting the
distribution of plants and animals in the area. Most aquatic organisms are
either of marine or limnic (freshwater) origin. Few organisms are adapted
to survive in brackish water conditions and the result is an impoverished
ecosystem with a limited number of species either of marine of limnic origin.
Hence in the Skagerrak there are about 130 species of fish, several
thousand invertebrates and several hundred different algae. In the Baltic
on the other hand there is only a fraction of this number, in total about 70
including fish, marine (macro-) invertebrates and algae. If the number of
species in the Baltic Sea is comparatively low, the abundance of some of
these species is instead very high. Hence plant species such as the bladder
wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) and the eel grass (Zostera maritima) form
dense mono-specific belts covering extensive areas of shallow seabed.
Animal species such as the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) cover practically
all shallow hard substrates in the Baltic proper.
the huMan eleMent
The Baltic Sea catchment area is about 1,720 thousand
km 2 , with a population of about 85 million.
About half of this population lives in Poland. The urbanization
rate is relatively high particularly in Denmark, Sweden and Germany with
more than 80% of the population in the drainage area living in urban areas.
The population is primarily distributed in settlements along the coast. The
population density in the whole catchment area varies considerably from over
500 inhabitants in urban areas of Poland, Germany and Denmark to less than
10 per km 2 in northern Finland and Sweden. All countries around the Baltic
Sea are considered industrialized and during the last decade the industrial
sector has grown significantly, particularly in the former East Block states.
The industrial sectors with the most harmful effects on the environment of
the Baltic Sea are the pulp and paper, chemical, mining and food processing
industries. There is however major differences in the technologies applied
in the different countries, which has an influence on how much the industrial
sector affects the ecosystem. In contrast to the industrial sector, the agriculture
productivity has decreased significantly in the last decade. The proportion
of the land area used for agriculture varies markedly from over 60% in
Poland to less than 7% in Finland. Generally non-point source pollution in the
form of nutrients and organic matter originating from agriculture is having a
very significant impact on the Baltic ecosystem.
There is no doubt, human activities have very significant impacts
on the Baltic Sea. Some impacts are more perceived than real – they
may for example be very local or cause very limited effects, while others have
direct impacts on the productivity and services provided by the ecosystem,
endangering the survival of species and may pose a threat human heath. Below
I will discuss some of the more serious problems that have a fundamental
impact on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea, affecting the productivity and the
survival of species of the Baltic Sea. To this category I count the problem of
eutrophication, the release of persistent pollutants and large volumes of oil.
To this category we must also count overfishing which has fundamentally affected
the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea.
Eutrophication is the term used to describe the impacts of
too much nutrients in an ecosystem. The high concentrations of nutrients
result in increased production of plants plankton algae. When this
excess of plant material dies and sinks into deeper water and to the
seabed, the degradation process consumes the available oxygen in
the water, thus leading to anoxic conditions. When the levels of oxygen
approach 0 higher life can no longer survive. We have now a situation
where between 1/3 and 50% of the deep water of the Baltic Sea is with-
out oxygen. This has resulted in large areas of dead seabed to extend
East, South and partly West of Gotland, in the Gdansk Basin and around
Bornholm in the South.
The eutrophication is no doubt one of the most serious
threats to the Baltic Sea. The entire ecosystem is affected and the impacts
are clearly visible. The factors leading to the eutrophication is not
as simple as just excess release of nutrients. Marine sediments from the
seabed of the Baltic Sea show that periods of anoxic conditions have
occurred long before humans caused any significant release of nutrients.
In addition, there are clear indications that much of the situation
today was caused by nutrients and organic matter released long time
ago. The very slow renewal time of the water in the Baltic Sea and the
fact that much of the nutrients that are impacting the ecosystem comes
from remineralisation processes, means that attempts to cut the emissions
of nutrients will only show.
The input of persistent substances such as PCBs, various
agrochemicals, and organometals (mainly mercury and tin) is a matter of
serious concern both from an ecosystem standpoint and from a biodiversity
standpoint. In addition, for some substances there is even a human
health aspect. Fortunately several of the substances that caused sever
physiological effects in seals and eagles during the last 30 to 40 years are
However, we cannot say the danger is over. There are still
substances such as organotin in far too high concentrations in the Baltic
ecosystem. In addition, the environmental toxicologists are worried that
new, so far undetected substances are present in the environment causing
negative effects in various parts of the ecosystem.
There are hundreds of small oil spills in the Baltic Sea every
year. These spills kill on average between 100,000 and 200,000 seabirds
every winter. A potentially even greater threat to the Baltic Sea is the release
of large quantities of oil. If a spill of 10 to 50 thousand tonnes occurs
we can expect dramatic effects on for example the Baltic populations of
several different species of seabirds.
For some of these bird species, even the entire or a significant
part of the world population may be at risk. Also, the oil will contaminate
large stretches of coastline and the clean-up costs will very high.
The modern fishing is another factor of human origin which
is causing very drastic ecological effects on the ecosystem. The intensive
industrialized fishing, particularly for cod has reduced the cod-stocks to
a small fraction of what they were in the 1950’s. The cod is the most important
top predator in the Baltic Sea and the overfishing of the cod has
contributed to ecological effects such as the large algal blooms that now
occur every summer. Some of the methods used in fishing are also highly
destructive to the environment, in particular the bottom trawling.
In contrast to the factors discussed above which all are causing
dramatic negative effects on the environment of the Baltic Sea, there are a some
human activities which from an environmental standpoint have limited or no impacts
but that has given rise to a fierce debate sometimes full of emotions. In
this category we have activities like dredging and the building of offshore wind
power plants. The issue of the proposed Nord Stream pipeline has resulted in
another debate characterized more by perception than reality. Based on the
experiences from other seas where oil and gas is transported in pipelines on
the seabed, the most likely scenario is that there will be only a temporary and
local impact when the pipeline is deposited on the seabed. Some disturbance
can be expected due to turbidity (silt etc in the water). However, such impacts
are likely to be local and temporary. During the operational phase, based on
observations, for example, in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, we have
no reason to expect any significant impacts of a pipeline on the seabed of the
fuRtheR ReadinG ReGaRdinG
baltic enviRonMental issues:
The Helsinki Commission web site has a long list of publications
of relevance to the environmental situation in the Baltic Sea.
Baltic Sea – GIWA Regional Assessment 17 (Lääne, Kraav, Titova).
UNEP, Nairobi. (www.unep.org/dewa/giwa/publications/r17.asp)
Change Beneath the Surface, (Barnes) Swedish Environmental
Protection Agency, (www.naturvardsverket.se/bokhandeln)
Coby van der Linde
Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP),
With the turmoil still raging on the international financial
markets, the first impacts on the energy sector are beginning to be
noticeable. International Oil Companies, IOC’s, are already delaying
development of their marginal oil and gas projects, and other projects
are bound to follow. The cost inflation of recent years is coming
to a temporary end and with prices of almost everything, except perhaps
credit, coming down, companies are trying to renegotiate contracts
with their suppliers in order to match cost of development with
the new price reality in the market. It is very difficult to determine if
the current prices of oil and gas are reflecting the new demand and
supply equilibriums or that it is, above all, a reflection of the current
state of complete mistrust and uncertainty about the creditworthiness
of counterparties, about the impact on the real economy and
therefore demand for energy.
The current sharp realignment of the international
economy comes at particularly bad time for the international oil and
gas industry. Although some consumer countries might welcome
the easing of the energy prices after a period of increasing tightness
of the oil, gas and coal markets, the recent price collapse also heralds
the next round of price increases when vital investments in the
energy value chain are seriously delayed. The relief felt in consuming
countries can easily turn out to be very short lived, particularly
when the investments in new production capacity are faltering. New
concerns about energy security will resurface, while the ability to
calm these concerns will have diminished due to the long lead times
to adjust supply.
Much depends on the ability of companies and governments
to turn the tide of investment delays. Some producing governments
can opt to maintain investments financed from their structural
funds, but this is not a foregone course. Their integration in
the world’s financial markets have increased the call on government
assistance in other domestic sectors, and despite the long term importance
of the energy sector for their economy, priorities with social-economic
stability also apply to producing countries. The financial
crisis is seriously reshuffling the world’s energy deck of cards
and could negatively impact energy diplomacy in the years to come
if the world fails to respond level headed.
record iN the
Sergio A. Rossi
that will be
Today, Italy is the biggest European market in terms of number
of natural gas vehicles, or NGVs. Its fleet expected to reach at least
some 570,000 vehicles by the end of 2008, with a network of some 780
refuelling stations throughout the country. In comparison, Russia hardly
reaches 100,000 vehicles, Germany 70,000, Sweden 16,000 and France
11,000 natural gas vehicles.
True, at a worldwide scale, Italy is ranking only 6th, after
Argentina, Pakistan, Brazil, Iran and India, and before China, for
number of total NGVs, but for number of natural gas passenger cars it
outranks also India, raising to the 5th place. Moreover, most of these
countries have either particular local conditions and facilities, such
as Argentina and Brazil in South America, or specific differences from
Italy in terms of quite larger populations and lower level of economic
development, together with a significantly low purchasing power of
their average consumers.
The reasons why Italy is ahead of the pack, namely among
the advanced industrialized countries, are at least three. The first, as observed
by some experts (for example Pierre Fischer, of the Swagelok Company),
is that “the Italian gas industry just made the most of easy access to
natural gas. Thanks to a pipeline running from North Africa through Italy,
gas companies saw a ‘natural’ opportunity to sell gas and they seized it”.
top 10 world countries for number of nGvs
(natural Gas vehicles)
sources: ngvgroup.com, federmetano.it, ilsole24ore.com, October 2008.
- thousands of NGVs
Actually, the first deep methane field in Western Europe was discovered by
Eni, the Italian oil and gas State Company, in June 1959 near Lodi in Lombardy
(Northern Italy), while the second field discovered was offshore, in
the Adriatic Sea, not far from the city of Ravenna. Nowadays there are offshore
platforms in the Ionio sea near Crotone (Calabria Region), where Eni
extracts 15% of the national consumption of gas, both for domestic and for
industrial use, while the rest is imported, mostly from Russia and Algeria.
number of nGvs (natural Gas vehicles) –
top 10 world countries
Of which Cars/
RS under construction
Mln. m3 1 Argentina 1,721.1 1,721.1 1,784 n.a. 227,6
2 Pakistan 1,658.0 1,599.9 1,923 200 n.a.
3 Brazil 1,155.8 1.155.8 1,654 n.a. 222,6
4 Iran 826.6 823.9 519 680 n.a.
5 India 821.8 315.2 325 60 52,
6 Italy 570.0 566.5 700 80 49,0
7 China 336,0 95.5 561 n.a. 193.3
8 Colombia 261.4 179.3 377 n.a. 45
9 Bangladesh 180.0 46.6 229 13 21,3
10 Ukraine 120.0 7.0 224 n.a. 46,0
sources: ngvgroup.com, federmetano.it, ilsole24ore.com, October 2008
The second reason is that the Italian gas industry companies
started quite soon the production of methane gas and Gpl tanks, equipments
and Kits, so that even private citizens, besides small auto services
and repair stations, could install them in existing petrol fueled cars, converting
into NGVs. And all this, with sizable savings on the current price
of normal car petrol. Also the Italian automobile industry followed suit,
although with some delay, starting to produce the first dedicated cars for
natural gas, methane or Lpg fuels, or, as it is very trendy now, dual-fueled
(petrol/gasoline and natural gas) cars, that may be switched instantly
from one fuel type to another, and vice-versa. 86% of new methane fuelled
cars in Italy are produced by the Fiat company of Turin, and particularly
popular has been the natural gas version of the small Panda model.
Well over 40,000 natural gas fuelled Pandas were sold only in 2007. In
addition to new NGV sold, it must be underlined that in 2006, the number
of conversions of used cars, switched from petrol/gasoline to methane,
was 38,400 and in 2007 it went also beyond 40,000.
For what concerns particularly savings, today in Italy, according
to data by Federmetano (the Italian Federation of companies
distributing and transporting methane gas), for the same amount of km
covered by a normal petrol/gasoline-fuelled car, a methane fuelled car
will save up to 65%, while savings will be up to 45% in comparison to Gpl,
and up to 50% on diesel powered engines.
A third and very important reason, is a whole range of State
and regional incentives for drivers who will prefer to buy NGVs. And this
because methane fuelled cars are judged today to be the most ecological
type of vehicles, with the exception of the electrical propelled cars. Current
codified incentives in Italy for methane fuelled cars include a bonus
of 2,000 euros for buying vehicles with CO 2 emissions below 120 grams/
Km. This sum is lowered to 1,500 euros if the car emissions are higher
than the above mentioned level.
Moreover, regional laws, for example in Piedmont, decree
that methane fuelled vehicles of categories Euro 2,3 and 4, will be freed
from the automobile property tax for a five-years period, while “converted”
or “transformed” vehicles will be free of tax for a 3 years period. This
incentive is limited to cars with engines up to 100 Kw (136 Hp), but it will
be available to car owners who have installed and certified the natural gas
kit since November 2006.
An additional reason to switch from petrol/gasoline to methane,
is that this type of vehicles is and will be currently exempted from
several energy-saving and ecological measures that are often taken by
central and regional authorities, such as Sunday bans of circulating in
metropolitan cities or cities centers, alternate weekly days of allowed circulation
for even or odd car number plates, etc.
One of the problem to be solved for the further development
of NGVs in Italy is the still inadequate national network of refuelling
stations. While it has taken some four decades to build in Italy the
about 700 stations now operating, in less than three years Germany has
installed 800 refuelling stations (as October 2008) on its territory, serving
a fleet of natural gas vehicles that is eight times smaller that the Italian
one. Moreover, the present network of refuelling stations for NGVs is
rather unevenly distributed on the national territory, and it is concentrated
more than 51% in Northern Italy, mainly in the regions of Emilia-Romagna
(Bologna), Lombardy (Milan), Veneto (Venice, Trento) and Piedmont (Turin),
followed by 31% in Central Italy, mostly in Marche (Ancona), Tuscany
(Florence) and Lazio (Rome). Only 18% of refuelling stations are in the
South, mainly in Campania (Neaples), Sicily and Puglia (Bari).
Since 2007 however, pushed by the new boom of NGVs
sales, construction of new refuelling stations has been somewhat accelerated,
with Federmetano claiming that the pace of construction has
reached 2 new refuelling stations per week in 2008, with a forecast of
reaching 780 stations by end-December.
number of nGvs (natural Gas vehicles) –
top 20 european countries
Mln. m3 1 Italy 580,000 576,500 2,234 1,166 – 700 80 49,00 Oct.08
2 Ukraine 120,000 7,000 30,500 29,500 59,000 224 n,a. 46,00 Dic.07
3 Armenia 101,352 69,971 9,831 19,626 1,924 214 8 23,80 Mar.08
4 Russia 95,000 18,000 8,000 35,000 34,000 222 5 24,00 Dic.07
5 Germany 64,454 50,620 1,444 11,900 490 804 n.a. 10,76 Sept.08
6 Bulgaria 40,255 40,000 200 20 35 56 15 7,00 Dec.07
7 Sweden 15,474 14,278 808 388 – 118 n.a. 4,90 June 08
8 France 10,150 7,500 2,000 650 – 125 15 n.a.
9 Switzerland 5,830 5,638 138 54 – 97 6 0,66 Dec.07
10 Belarus 5,500 5,500 – – – 25 n.a. 3,00 Dec.07
11 Moldova 5,000 5,000 – – – 14 n.a 1,00 Dec.07
12 Turkey 3,056 2,564 492 – – 9 1 0,40 July 08
13 Georgia 3,000 3,000 – – – 4 n.a. n.a. Dec.07
14 Austria 2,980 2,950 25 5 – 164 35 1,00 July 08
15 Spain 1,846 200 845 758 43 42 n.a 2,00 July 08
16 Poland 1,470 800 240 430 – 28 5 0,76 Dec.07
1,153 880 215 35 23 33 8 0,31 Aug.08
18 Netherlands 858 740 95 15 8 16 10 n.a. June 08
19 Latvia 500 30 10 187 273 4 n.a n.a. Dec.07
20 Greece 416 0 416 0 n.a. 1 n.a. n.a. Dec.07
sources: ngvgroup.com, federmetano.it, ilsole24ore.com, October 2008
Perspectives for a further growth in Italy of the NGV market
look promising. A first confirmation is that in 2008, a year of a worldwide
and European economic and financial problems, overall car sales in Italy
declined some 10% in the first 9 months, but sales of NGVs, on the
contrary, increased by an estimated 30%, with specific sales of natural
gas commercial vehicles soaring more that 50%.
In mid-October 2008, Fiat has introduced the Grande Punto
Natural Power, a new dual fuel (gasoline / natural gas) model, with a
1.4-liter 8v Fire unit, Euro 5 compliant. Range from its 84-liter natural
gas tank is 310 km (192 miles), but the 45-liter (12 gallon) gasoline tank
extends that to a total range of more than 1,000 km (620 miles). With
natural gas, fuel consumption is 6.4 m 3 /100km, with CO 2 emissions of
115 g/km. On natural gas, power delivered is 70 hp (51 kW), and top
speed is 156 kph (97 mph), instead of 77 hp and 162 kph (100 mph)
According to company sources, during the period January-August
2008, Fiat sold approximately 43,000 natural gas vehicles
in Italy, compared with 33,000 during the same period in 2007. That
means a projected sales level by Fiat of some 64,000 NGV by December
2008, and an overall Italian NGV sales figure of some 74–75,000
new NGV. But for 2009, Fiat forecasts it is ready to sell some 100,000
NGVs, which means over 110–115,000 vehicles of total Italian sales.
In this way, Italy will approach fast, if not already overcome, the objective,
supported at the II Word Fair of NGVs, of a national target according
to which the clean fuel market share will be 6%, enough to
consider NGV as a traditional fuel and not an alternative one. In fact,
already in 2008, the share of NGVs in Italy (new sales plus converted
vehicles) should reach for the first time at least 5.3–5.4% of the total
yearly number of cars, with a share of some 53,3% for gasoline and
41,3% for diesel cars.
For many years now, I have been driving a bi-fuel car powered
with gasoline and methane. I can say from personal experience that I have
found several advantages of this car. The first benefit is the economy that derives
from the substantial fuel savings. Then there is the advantage of moving
freely in Italy’s major urban centers like my home-city Rome, where driving a
petrol-powered car is very complicated. Driving gas-powered cars is possible
even under the frequently-imposed traffic limitation days or on “ecological
Sundays” when the circulation of other cars is banned.
There are some who say that all of these advantages are offset
by the lower MPG and power of gas-powered cars, especially in the winter
months. But I can reply with certainty that the difference in the performance
of gas and petrol-powered cars is marginal, especially when compared to the
great savings on fuel prices.
As for the winter argument, some people say that methanepowered
cars work poorly during the cold season because of low temperatures.
In reality, every Italian motorist who regularly uses a gas-powered car
during the winter can testify that this is not relevant as Italy is known for its
mild winter temperatures. In addition, bi-fuel models that operate on gasoline
and methane have gasoline ignitions, so there are no serious problems when
starting a car even at very low temperatures. The fuel supply automatically
switches from petrol to natural gas once the engine warms up.
But the most common stereotype is that methane is highly explosive
and makes cars with such installations dangerous. Although methane
is economic, ecological and has many others advantages it has to be stored
in a particular way which creates certain fear among people. Some even think
that a car with a methane installation parked in the sun is a ticking bomb!
Some also believe that natural gas should be stored following certain and
very expensive standards, while others still believe that parking of methanefuelled
car in the underground garage is prohibited.
In reality, however there is no particular risk of explosion comparing
methane-fuelled cars with normal petrol-powered ones or those equipped
with catalytic exhaust silencers. For many years now, methane-fuelled cars
have been accepted at both underground parking lots and on ferries.
In case of methane leakage in a ventilated room, such as garages
or ferries, the gas disperses into the environment without forming explosive
mixtures because it is lighter than air. If methane is stored in steel or light-alloy
cylinders, the maximum allowable pressure is 200 atmospheres. As an extra
measure of precaution these cylinders are tested at much higher pressures every
5 years. So even if the vehicle catches fire, the methane inside the tank will
warm up increasing the pressure, but the strength of the cylinder will prevent
the gas from exploding. Moreover, the cylinder valve automatically closes as
the engine shuts down. In conclusion, methane is not only an ecological and
economical, but also is one of the safest fuels for Italian motorists.
Over the first five months of 2008, the registration of new methane-fuelled
cars in Italy increased by 26.5% compared to the same period for
the previous year. How can this growing interest be explained? Why are more
and more Italian motorists switching to methane gas? The explanation lies in
the combination of rebates and incentives which benefit the Italian consumers
when they purchase a new car. For example, state incentives for methane-fuelled
cars, incentives for reutilisation and manufacturers’ or dealers’ discounts
add up to savings of up to 30% off the purchase price.
But these incentives are not the only reason behind the boom
in methane-powered car purchases, according to Italy’s Methane Auto trade
magazine. Among a list of other advantages enjoyed by Italy’s consumers, two
in particular stand out. The first is that methane is the cheapest fuel available,
which is certainly a matter of crucial importance. The second is that methane is
also the most environmentally friendly fuel on the market today, which benefits
both the environment and the motorists, who now enjoy the additional advantage
of avoiding traffic limitations that are being imposed in a growing number
of Italian cities.
the final framework of incentives for 2008 is enclosed below
Under a Financial Company incentives package that went into effect on January 1, 2007, individuals and
legal entities who switch their cars to LPG or methane within three years of their car’s registration date
receive a 650 EUR subsidy. The amount is sent directly to the workshop or a concessionaire. This category
also includes new vehicles purchased from concessionaires that are already equipped with LPG or methane
installation but which have not been approved by the manufacturer to run on gas. As of January 12,
2007, a person has also been able to receive a government subsidy who convert their Euro 0 and Euro 1
vehicles to methane or LPG fuel. The subsidy amounts to 350 Euro for each conversion. Both subsidies,
will be available until the allocated government fund runs out. In 2007, the fund had around 52 million Euro
reserved. To access the money, one needs to apply for conversion at a workshop or a concessionaire who
have agreed to join the program. The latter should do all the paperwork. The list of documents required is
available from ECOGAS (toll-free tel. number 800 500 501). There is also an incentive available for people
who purchase new cars – automobiles and trucks – that have been approved or even exclusively made for
LPG or methane use. Drivers can benefit from a 1,500-Euro discount that is paid directly by the concessionaire.
That discount grows to 2,000 Euro if the vehicle produces less than 120g/km of CO 2 . These benefits
apply to sales contracts signed between 3/10/2006 and 31/12/2009. The cars must be registered
before 31/03/2010. Both the 650-Euro equipment contribution and the 1,500-Euro discount for cars that
meet certain requirements are added to the reutilisation incentive.
a list of cars and their gas supplies
available to buyers in italy
[without bi-fuel GPl and lPG models]
CARS Price (Euro)
Citroen Berlingo 1.4 Multispace Methane 18.711
Citroen C3 Elegance Bi Energy M 16.801
DR Motor Company Dr5 1.6 16V (price stated at the sale point) 17.051
Fiat Panda 1.2 Natural Power Dynamic 13.861
Fiat Panda 1.2 Natural Power Climbing 15.651
Fiat Punto 1.2 Natural Power 5P 15.361
Fiat Dobl 1.6 16V Natural Power Active 17.471
Fiat Multipla 1.6 Natural Power Active 22.171
Fiat Multipla 1.6 Natural Power Dynamic 24.321
Fiat Multipla 1.6 Natural Power Emotion 25.631
Methane- and Gas-PoweRed caRs
New Nissan Qashqai 2 more space, 7 seats www.nissan.it/Qashqai
CARS Price (Euro)
Mercedes E 200 NGT Bi-Power Classic 47.301
Mercedes E 200 NGT Bi-Power Elegance 49.218
Mercedes E 200 NGT Bi-Power Avantgarde 51.561
Opel Combo 1.6 CNG Methane Club 17.868
Opel Combo 1.6 CNG Methane Enjoy 18.948
Opel Zafira 1.6 16V ecoM Club 21.701
Opel Zafira 1.6 16V ecoM Enjoy 23.601
Opel Zafira 1.6 16V ecoM Cosmo 26.081
Renault Kangoo 1.6 16V Comfort B/M 18.206
Renault Kangoo 1.6 16V Luxe B/M 19.276
Tata Indica 1.4 GLX Bi Fuel Methane 11.149
Tata Indigo 1.4 GLX Bi Fuel Methane 15.163
Volkswagen Caddy Life 2.0 Ecofuel 21.304
Volkswagen Touran 2.0 Conceptline Ecofuel 23.751
Volkswagen Touran 2.0 Trendline Ecofuel 26.076
Volkswagen Touran 2.0 Highline Ecofuel 27.826
There are few models in total but they range across all vehicle types, including economy and singlevolume
cars. Fiat leads by number of offers, followed by Tata and Volkswagen. The price list ranges from
just over 11,000 Euro for a Tata Indica to almost 28,000 Euro for a Volkswagen Touran Highline and over
50,000 Euro for a Mercedes E-Class.
Below, I include an example of an ad from one car company that
advertises the advantages of gas-powered cars (prices as of today): XXXXXX
model cars (Methane): This is a message for intelligent travellers: XXXXXX is
now available for those who want to save money and drive even when traffic
limitations are valid. It has an extraordinary boot space due to methane tanks
located under the floor. The dual gasoline-methane fuel supply allows drivers
to cover large distances without refuelling (310 km extra-urban cycle with a
full tank of methane). Also, the car is environmentally-friendly because it reduces
emissions by 23% and helps you to save money because of lower gas
costs. So think, wouldn’t it be a pity not to have it?
featuRes: / Engine volume 1242 cm 3 / ecological level: Euro 4 /
Maximum power ce:
gasoline 44 kw (60cv) at 5000 cycles/min Methane 38 kw (52cv) at 5000 cycles /min
Maximum engine torque ce:
gasoline 102 Nm (10.4 kg-m) at 2500 cycles /min Methane 88 Nm (9.0 kg-m) at 3000 cycles /min
gasoline 148 km/h Methane 140 km/h
fuel consumption, directive ce 1999/100:
gasoline (l/100 km) Methane (kg/100 km)
urban 7.9 / Extra-urban 5.2 urban 5.3 / Extra-urban 3.5
combined 6.2 combined 4.2*
co 2 emissions:
gasoline 146 g/km Methane 114 g/km
* – autonomy 270 km
Turnkey (base) car price €13,910.00 (with fog lights, air conditioner,
etc. = €14,810.00) + IPT (local taxes) = €196.00
Total payable = €15,006.00
The final price is calculated after the deduction of a €2,000.00 state subsidy
for the purchase of a methane-fuelled car.
Academic at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS),
Director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the RAS
Deputy Director of the Oil and Gas Research
Institute of the RAS
Nowadays, the word “Arctic” evoces a feeling of contained
but stabile optimism among specialists involved in oil and natural gas
production as it points to one of the potential directions of the sector’s
At the same time, nobody in Russia turns a blind eye to the
apparent difficulties in developing the enormous natural wealth of this
still virgin region of the planet, nor to the potential risks for the environment.
Gazprom deals with these problems very seriously, reconciling its
plans with the recommendations of scientists.
We present a short review of the ecological component of
oil-and-gas production in the Arctic prepared by two leading Russian scientists
who are specially engaged in solving these problems.
The evolution of civilization will be inevitably accompanied
by even more intensive intrusion into the world of sea waters and oceans.
The development of oil and gas fields will proceed especially actively. Offshore
fields account for 35% of the world’s oil production and 32% of the
world’s gas production, and these shares will increase.
However, one cannot rule out a negative impact on the water
environment caused by humans: e.g., as a result of deviations from operating
practices, organizational malfunctions or as a result of the naturally
existing risk of equipment damage during the exploration, prospecting
and development of oil and gas fields as well as the transportation and
processing of oil and gas.
Ecological risks are exacerbated by some natural phenomena.
In this connection, it is necessary to consider the geodynamics
of regions, to identify areas with low-density deposits taking into
account the increased avalanche danger in these regions.
The creation of a uniform system for geo-ecological monitoring
and simultaneous efforts underwater, underground, aboveground,
above-water and from space is envisaged. Such monitoring
work can be performed by equipment ranging from high-orbit technical
complexes to mid- and low-orbit, aero-altitude, medium-altitude
and helicopter complexes to above-ground, above- and underwater,
and underground measuring points. Most of the information is received
from aerospace subsystems. Above-ground, underground and
above- and underwater researches are carried out on reference sites
and their results are used in the testing of remote information.
New theoretical, methodological, organizational and technological
solutions serving as the basis for geo-ecological monitoring
allow real-time collection of representative and trustworthy information
about all significant changes in objects under study. Systematic organization
and streamlining of the work helps to decrease total expenses of
time and money, ensuring the efficient collection of informative data.
Dynamic ecological models that can register a great number of
factors in their interrelation and remote damages of influences in the framework
of existing scientific knowledge should become the basis for ecological
monitoring of the sea environment. The construction of such models requires
real-time monitoring of a significant number of factors, intimate knowledge
of biological processes, and an integrated approach to the ecosystem. As
practice shows, prospecting and development of gas fields on the continental
shelf usually involve the development and creation of regional ecological
monitoring systems that can take into account the features of the given region.
Therefore we need extensive databases on specific regions, as well as
appropriate research technologies and equipment.
The proposed approach on the basis of a new technology
for continuous geo-ecological monitoring of water areas and the results
of mathematical modeling makes it possible to assess the state of the
ecological system alongside the development of the oil-and-gas complex,
analyze ecological risk and calculate its dynamics.
The Arctic Ocean and the Arctic shelf occupy a special place
among the oceans of the Earth because of their extensive submarine permafrost
zone, which is defined by two main factors: the negative temperature
of benthonic layers of water (modern conditions) and the deeply
frozen ground developed over past geological periods (Paleolithic conditions).
The permafrost zone can be frozen (ice-containing) and unfrozen,
marked by cooled mineralized waters and materials.
The “cooled” sediments occupy the central, northern and
southeastern parts of the sea surrounding Novaya Zemlya. The contours
of this zone almost coincide with the zero isotherm annual temperature of
the seabed. The Shtokman field, like many others, is situated in the zone
of ground deposits with negative temperatures.
In the Pechora Sea, the submarine permafrost zone coincides
with the lenses of the residual degrading long-term permafrost at
depths of 40–100 m below the sea bottom. The permafrost is discontinuous
In terms of engineering and geology, the frozen and gas
carrying hydrate deposits represent a category of materials of a special
structure, condition and properties and require a specific approach for
the development of the oil and gas resources of the Arctic water areas.
In particular, these features should be considered when solving such
important practical questions as building fixed, ice proof platforms on
the Arctic shelf as well as building and operating pipelines and other
facilities. It is also necessary to take into account possible disturbances
of the natural thermal conditions in the top sedimentary cover during
well drilling and operation.
One of the possible risk factors and negative consequences
of the development of gas deposits is surface subsidence
above the field as a result of decreasing initial formational pressure
in the producing layers and their deformation, which is well studied
in world practice. Surface subsidence is also possible due to the unfreezing
of benthonic gas hydrates.
Estimating the extent of seabed surface subsidence is especially
important since the requirements for the conservation of earth
resources as well as the reliability of well operation, sea platforms and
underwater modules are stricter for offshore fields.
All this shows the need to thoroughly study and forecast
possible human caused complications from the point of view of the safety
of offshore drilling rigs on the Arctic shelf. Russian scientists and technical
experts are deeply engaged in tackling this issue.
127006, Moscow, Strastnoy Blvd., 9.
Telephone: +7-499-503-6161, Fax: +7-499-503-6333.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com