Gazprom invests into helium production

Gazprom invests in helium production

The Russian gas giant, the Gazprom corporation, is soon planning to implement a plan to build the largest gas-chemical complex for the production and processing of helium in the Amur Region (Belogorsk). This information has recently appeared in the corporate magazine of the group.

The enterprise plans to develop the large Chayandinskoye field located in Yakutia. Compared to Kovykta, new discovered gas reserves differ in the specifics of production and processing. In addition, Kovykta has a large break-even threshold – about 25 billion cubic meters of gas. Therefore, to ensure the profitability of the development of the field, the level of helium production must be within the same limits.

One of the serious and still unresolved issues is the search for markets for the produced methane. This is due to the fact that the needs of the Irkutsk region for gas are only about 2 billion cubic meters per year, and negotiations with the Chinese side on establishing large volumes of raw materials have not yet been crowned with success. Nevertheless, the Chayandinskoye field is one of Gazprom’s priorities in the eastern direction, and the investment decision on it is being actively implemented. Experts estimate the total preliminary cost of this project, including the laying of the gas pipeline and the development of the field, at 770 and 430 billion rubles, respectively.

By 2017, the corporation plans to complete work on laying the Yakutia – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok gas pipeline, the length of which will reach a record more than 3200 kilometers. By this time, it is planned to put into operation a plant for the production of liquefied gas in Vladivostok. The design capacity of this giant is 10 million tons per year.

The bulk of the Yakutian gas is focused on sales in the Pacific region and the development of gas and chemical production in the eastern regions of Russia.

Structures of the concern are actively exploring a well for storing helium concentrate. In addition, a priority task is also to form the necessary infrastructure for helium production, create the necessary conditions for the production and liquefaction of gas and its subsequent transportation.

The difficulty of transporting liquid helium by rail must be taken into account. This is due to its physical and chemical characteristics and the specifics of the design of the containers. An efficient alternative to such transportation is sea and road transport.

The main share of the world market for the production of tanks for the transportation of helium is currently occupied by Swedish and American companies. At the same time, the Russian company Geliymash has developed its own tanker truck for gas transportation. At the moment, it is planned to carry out test runs of the tank from Orenburg to Irkutsk and back, after which the equipment will be subjected to eighteen-month tests at Gazprom Gaz-Energoset. It is planned that from 2014 this specialized operator of Gazprom will organize the production and sale of liquefied helium.

An increase in the scale of helium production contributes not only to the development of the hydrocarbon industry, but also has an active impact on other spheres of the economy of the Russian Far East. For example, automakers will receive new orders for the production of specialized automotive equipment. There will be a need to create containers, membrane units and component parts for them. The need for qualified personnel will increase, which will reduce the level of social tension due to the significant level of unemployment in the region. This was reported by the Gazprom Corporation magazine.