About Gas Storage

About Gas Storage

Storing natural gas in underground storage facilities is the core business of NAFTA, representing roughly 70 % of all its activities. 
NAFTA has been developing this area for more than 40 years, working intensively to increase its storage capacity. During the development and reconstruction, it applies state-of-the-art technology that is environmentally friendly and special impetus is placed on high operational safety. Additionally developed storage capacity represents a significant investment not only for NAFTA but for the entire Slovakia too. Storage facilities are one of the tools to increase energy security of Slovakia and by strengthening connections to other gas networks; it supports other tools such as reverse flows in transport networks. The significance of NAFTA in the European market of storage services is thus boosted.
 
History of storage
 
In the second half of the 60s of the last century, intensive discussion regarding the development of the concept to use depleted gas fields for storage started. The commissioning of the transit oil pipeline Bratstvo (Brotherhood) from Russia across the entire Slovakia in 1970 was an important impulse, which was then followed by the development of underground storage facilities in the Vienna Basin in western Slovakia.
 
1973 was the crucial year for natural gas storage as natural gas started flowing to depleted gas fields. Trial operation of the first stage of underground storages was launched in 1977 with annual storage capacity of 200 mcm and barely 2 years later, the storage capacity stood at 350 mcm. In 1984, thanks to the third stage of underground storage facilities at Lab, storage capacity grew by 1 bcm of gas. Further development of storage facilities means that from 2003 until 2012, the capacity reached 2.4 bcm. The recent completion of the second stage of the Gajary-Baden project and the start of operation of the Central Area at Gajary, the new connection to the transmission system and further important structures was a significant milestone. After the final completion of the Gajary-Baden project in 2014, the storage capacity of NAFTA shall total up to 2.5 bcm.
 
In addition to the development of storage capacity, NAFTA is developing new innovative storage products for its customers. In 2011, NAFTA was the first company in Europe to introduce a unique Option Product for storage capacity allowing customers to profit from the current turbulent situation in commodity markets.