Gazprom to expand mobile compressor station fleet
11 November 2021
Russia’s Gazprom announced plans to triple its fleet of mobile compressor stations (MCS) as part of a broader effort to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
The MCS are used to carry out gas trunkline repairs, and the expansion will bring their number in Gazprom’s fleet to 15. They pump the bulk of the gas from a shut-off section of pipeline into an active section or a parallel string. This way, up to 80% of methane is prevented from being released into the atmosphere, according to Gazprom. The company described it as being “among the most efficient modern technologies for preventing emissions” that occur when traditional repair methods are used.
Venting of gas from sections of pipelines that are undergoing maintenance is standard practice in Russia and elsewhere, and Gazprom said this was mandatory for safety reasons.
However, as the energy transition accelerates, the practice is increasingly in the spotlight and has been criticised by those seeking to curb emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that Russia’s oil and gas industry emitted 12.9mn metric tons of methane in 2020, but believes that these levels – and those emitted by the industry globally – can be significantly reduced with current technology.