As part of the ongoing ramp-up phase and as preparation for the operation of Nord Stream as a twin-pipeline gas transportation system, Nord Stream AG is conducting load tests for Line 1.
Over the past three days Line 1 has been operating at full capacity of app. 75 million cubic meters per day which corresponds to approximately 27.5 billion cubic meters per year. The tests will continue for another three weeks. During the tests, the gas transportation parameters will fluctuate in different modes.
The industry-standard load tests serve to confirm the safety and reliability of the pipeline. The first of Nord Stream’s twin pipelines continues to transport to its downstream European partners all the gas nominated and supplied by Gazprom Export.
Nord Stream is a natural gas pipeline which links Russia and the European Union through the Baltic Sea. The European Union’s annual natural gas imports in 2009 were approximately 312 billion cubic metres (bcm) and are projected to increase to over 523 bcm by 2030. By then, the EU will need additional gas imports of 211 bcm per year (Source: IEA, 2011). Nord Stream will meet more than a quarter of this additional gas import requirement by connecting the European gas pipeline network to some of the world’s largest gas reserves. The project will be an important contribution to long-term security of supply and a milestone of the energy partnership between the European Union and Russia.
The first of Nord Stream’s two parallel pipelines became operational in November 2011. Each line is approximately 1,220 kilometres long, providing a transport capacity of some 27.5 bcm per year. All of Line 2 has now also already been laid. Full capacity of about 55 bcm per year will be reached when the second line goes on stream in late 2012. This is enough gas to supply more than 26 million European households.
Subsea World News Staff , May 24, 2012; Image: Nord Stream