Et Gazprom and four other international energy companies will build Europe’s largest underground natural gas reservoir in The Netherlands at the exhausted Bergermeer field.

(Commersant) –
The project will cost an estimated $1-1.5 billion. The Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA), the operator of the project, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Gazprom Export yesterday. Construction will begin in the second quarter of next year, after the necessary designs are completed and permits are received. TAQA and Gazprom Export will reach a final agreement by that time.

The Dutch state EBN and private DYAS and Petro-Canada will also take part in the project. Their shares in the project will be determined in the coming months, said TAQA Europa representative Allan Virtanen. He said the usable capacity of the reservoir will be 4.1 billion cu. m. and will be launched in the second quarter of 2013.

The new reservoir will be strategic for Gazprom because of it lies on the path of the Nord Stream pipeline, now under construction, and because of its proximity to the Zeerbruge hub. The first section of Nord Stream, connecting the Baltic shore of Russia with Germany, will be ready in 2011. Then the pipeline will be extended from Greifswald, Germany, through The Netherlands to Becton, Great Britain. Analysts note that the construction of the reservoir will expand sales opportunities for Gazprom without requiring additional investment in production or transportation. It will also lessen the risk of supply interruption and reduce seasonal factors.

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