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Taqa, Gazprom to launch Dutch gas storage project   

Gulf Today - 06 December, 2008

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company said on Friday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Gazprom to jointly develop the Bergermeer gas storage project in the Netherlands.

Abu Dhabi National Energy, also known as Taqa, said construction of the project is expected to start in the second quarter next year, with commercial operations scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2013.

Once operational, the majority of the facility's capacity will be made available for third party access.

"The new gas storage facility will enhance the security of energy supply to Dutch and European consumers and will contribute significantly to the liquidity of the North-West European gas markets," Taqa said in a statement.

Gazprom will assist in construction and design of the project and will also deliver cushion gas for injection in the summer months over the next four years. Cushion gas is necessary to ensure the reservoir has optimal pressure to start commercial storage activities.

Taqa and Gazprom aim to finalise technical and contractual talks in the next few months to reach a final investment decision on the project by the end of the first quarter in 2009.

Taqa, which is jointly developing the Bergermeer project with developers Dyas and Energie Beheer Nederland along with Petro-Canada, said last month it is seeing widespread interest in the 1 billion euro ($ 1.3 billion) project, but that Dutch government support is essential for its development.

Paul van Gelder, managing director for the company in Europe, told Reuters demand was coming from utilities all over Europe, particularly those with power generation stakes in the region, as well as gas shippers and trading firms which source gas in the North Sea and are looking for flexible storage sites.

Taqa and its partners aim to use a depleted gas reservoir north of Amsterdam for storage with a working volume of around 4 bcm and an extra 4.6 bcm of cushion gas to control the pressure.

The company said on Friday it is continuing talks with other potential partners and cushion gas suppliers for participation in the project.
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