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September 9, 2003

50th Anniversary of Russian Gas

A celebration took place on the 6th of September in the Beryozovo settl. (the Beryozovsky region, Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Area) devoted to the 50th anniversary of first gas production in the Western Siberia. The celebration was attended by Alexander Filipenko, the Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, by Victor Ilyushin, Member of the Management Committee of Gazprom, head of the Regional Policy Department, by Alexander Bespalov, head of the Department of Information Policy, Pavel Zavalnyi, General director of Tyumentransgaz, Michael Galkovich, General director of Noyabrskgazdobycha, and Yuri Vazhenin, General director of Surgutgazprom.

The First gas blowout monument was ceremonially opened at the central square of Berezovo settlement. Thirty meters long silvery blowout rise breaking out from the North Pole of the Earth is symbolizing a break-through in economic development of the former outlying district of the Russian state.

The discoverers’ avenue was laid in the memory of the half-a-century anniversary of Berezovski natural gas. The celebration was crowned with a firework and the national variety stars’ show.

In the 1930s, Academician I.M.Gubkin advanced a hypothesis according to which the Western Siberia and Extreme North depths contained tremendous oil and gas reserves. Exploring the basins of the Pura, Nyda, Nadym and Ob rivers and the Ob Bay, Mr. Gubkin’s successors collected and accumulated, step-by-step, information on the reserves of these areas. A geological exploration company and a geophysical expedition were set up in the Western Siberia under the auspice of Narkomneft (Oil Ministry) in the pre-war years. The company and the expedition explored the Yamal peninsula in 2 directions – in the South and in the North.

In 1951, in accordance with the plan elaborated by Prof. Kudryavtsev and his team in 1948, geologists started drilling base wells. The first natural gas blowout was received on 21 September 1953 at Well 24 (Well P-1 today).

The gas blowout was a first step in intensive development of the oil and gas industry in the Western Siberia. The work proved the existence of huge gas reserves in the region. Systematic geophysical survey and drilling operations began in the Beryozovsky region in 1954. Over the following 12 years, 22 gas fields with estimated reserves of 135 bcm of gas were discovered in this area, including the Punginskoye (discovered in 1961), Severo-Igrimskoye (1959), Yuzhno-Igrimskoye (1961) and Pokhromskoye (1960) fields. These fields, alongside with the giant Urengoyskoye (1966), Medvezhye (1967) and Yamburgskoye (1969) fields discovered later, allowed to fulfill the key objective of the 1960s – an augmentation of the country’s resource base.

At present, 10 gas mains run through the Beryozovsky region. Two production divisions of Tyumentransgaz (Uralskoye division (pos. Pripolyarny) and Sosvinskoye division (pos. Khulimsunt)) are responsible for operation of the gas mains and the Punginskoye underground gas storage facility.

The 50-year chronicle:

  • 1953.Gas reserves of the Western Siberia became an established fact. The Berezovskoye field discovered.
  • 1961.The Berezovskoye field - first oil, gas and condensate field was put on stream in the Western Siberia.
  • 1966.The Urengoy field discovered.
  • 1969.The Yamburg field discovered.
  • 1970.A network of gas mains was created; gas production volume increased up to 83 bcm.
  • 1982.The first tcm of gas produced.
  • 1996.First Russian gas deliveries abroad through the Yamal – Europe gas pipeline system. The Zapolyarnoye field (estimated annual gas production - 100 bcm) was commissioned. The 10th trillion cubic meter of gas produced.
  • 2002.The general strategy for the gas industry development was adopted and major gas production regions (the Yamal peninsula, the Ob and Taz Bays and the Arctic offshore) were determined. Gas production grew by 10 bcm, as compared to 2001, and reached 522 bcm. The starting complex of the Russia – Turkey pipeline (the Blue Stream) was commissioned. A decision on constructing the North European gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea was made.
  • 2003.Gazprom passed over from the gas production stabilization phase to the gas production growth phase. By the yearend, gas production is expected to grow to as high as 540 bcm. Gazprom’s Management Committee took a decision on increasing gas production up to 580–590 bcm by 2020 and 610–630 bcm by 2030. For comparison: the Fuel and Energy Complex of Russia determined a target for Gazprom to stabilize annual gas production at the required level of 530 bcm. Expected gas exports will reach a record level of 135.4 bcm this year: for comparison, last year the index didn’t exceed 128.6 bcm.


Tyumentransgaz was set up on January 17, 1966. 31,000 employees are engaged by the company. Daily, 1.3 bcm of gas are delivered through the gas grid of the company. The company’s pipelines are used to transport 80% of natural gas produced in Russia. The total length of large-diameter pipelines controlled by the company is 26,400 km. 1,140 gas compressor units with the total capacity of 14.5 MW are installed at the pipelines operated by Tyumentransgaz.





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