Gazprom launches new stretch of Kaliningrad gas line

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11 -- Russia’s state-owned natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, meeting the demand of the Russian government, has completed the construction of the second stretch of the 139-km Minsk-Vilnius-Kaunas-Kaliningrad gas pipeline.

“The Russian government tasked Gazprom with guaranteeing the supply of 2.5 billion cu m of gas to the Kaliningrad region in 2010,” said Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Valery Golubev.

“The existence of the two-stretch pipeline and a compressor station, which will be commissioned near Vilnius next year, allows us to say that the set goal will be achieved,” Golubev said.

The pipeline expansion is part of a Russian government action plan aimed at increasing supplies to Kaliningrad—a Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland.

Besides the pipeline, the plan also calls for the upgrading of gas metering stations and for construction of a compressor station near Vilnius and an underground gas storage facility at Kaliningrad.

“The new gas pipeline will also increase the reliability of gas supplies to Lithuania, open up new prospects for more intensive development of gas-distribution networks in the republic, and increase gas deliveries to Lithuanian consumers,” Golubev said.

Pipeline ‘essential’
Viktoras Valentukevicius, head of Lithuania's gas company Lietuvos Dujos, 38.9% owned by Gazprom, said the pipeline was essential for his country.

“Natural gas will become a key energy resource for our country for decades. This line is very important for Lithuania as a guarantee of stable energy supplies from Russia,” said Valentukevicius.

In December, Lithuania will close its Soviet-era reactor in Ignalina, which will transform country a net energy exporter to an energy importer.

Since Lithuania has no direct link to Europe’s electric power grid, it has no choice but to import more energy from Russia—a matter that leaves many Lithuanians apprehensive, especially given Russia’s recent decision to cut off supplies to other countries in the region.

“Vilnius should not forget that the Kremlin is using Gazprom not only as [an] economic [tool], but also a very efficient political tool,” said Raimundas Lopata, director of the International Relations and Political Science Institute in Vilnius.

While acknowledging the concerns of Lithuanians about the reliability of Russia as a supplier, analyst IHS Global Insight felt the new line represents a step in the right direction for the country’s energy security.

“The additional gas supplies that can be delivered via the new string of the Minsk-Vilnius-Kaunas-Kaliningrad pipeline will be a net benefit to Lithuania, even if the Baltic state is not yet entirely convinced,” IHS Global Insight said.

LNG to Lithuania
Meanwhile, Golubev said Gazprom is prepared to supply LNG to Lithuania if a regasification terminal is built at the Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda.

"We regard this project as a very interesting, promising direction. It is needed now. We have discussed this issue and we believe that it is very good that countries are building such terminals," said Golubev, who added that Gazprom believes it is necessary to build a gas pipeline link to Klaipeda.

In September, Lithuania and the US agreed that the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) would provide an $800,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study for an LNG import terminal in Lithuania.

The study will determine the possibility of building a terminal with a capacity of 1.5-2 billion cu m of LNG and will evaluate three potential sites, including one offshore.

According to current plans, the terminal will be 80% state owned, with the remaining 20% to be held by AB Achema, a private producer of nitrogen fertilizers and chemical products.

According to a statement by a Lithuanian economy ministry official, construction of the terminal could start 3-4 years after the completion of the feasibility study, which is expected in 2010.

Lithuania’s Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas recently said his country is looking for a strategic investor in the terminal from a foreign country “rich in natural gas.”

Contact Eric Watkins at

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...

Woodside-led Browse FLNG venture enters FEED phase

07/01/2015 The Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-led Browse LNG joint venture has entered the front-end engineering and design phase for a floating LNG (FLNG) developme...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Construction begins on Chinese section of Russia-China Gas Pipeline


Construction has begun on the Chinese section of the Russia-China Gas Pipeline, according to China National Petroleum Corp.

White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Better Data, Better Analytics, Better Decisions

When Tue, Oct 27, 2015

The Oil & Gas industry has large amounts of data stored in multiple systems which are purpose built for certain tasks. However, good decisions require insights based upon the data in all of these systems. These systems in turn do not talk to each other. So the process of analyzing data, gaining insights, and making decisions is a slow one and often a flawed one. Good decisions require accurate analytics and accurate analytics require superior/sustainable data quality and governance. This webinar focuses on:

  • The importance of data quality and governance
  • How technological advances are making data quality and governance sustainable in order to get the accurate analytics to make solid decisions.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Seven Lakes Technologies and Noah Consulting.


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected