On 20 April, more than 3,000 kilometres from the Russian capital of Moscow in the freezing cold and pounding snow of western Siberia, Enel kicked off a project of immense importance for itself, Italy and Russia – the production of gas extracted from the Arctic deposits in Samburg, in the autonomous region of Yamal-Nenets.
This project, which was carried out by SeverEnergia – an organisation managed by Enel and Eni, as well as the Russian companies Novatek and Gazproneft – in howling wind and punishing snowfall, was the moment in which Enel became a direct producer of gas. But that's not all; it was also Italy's entry into Russian upstream operations.
This is a potentially huge development for the Group, given the fact that the Arctic deposits in Samburg produce 90 per cent of Russia's methane, that the region hosts the world's largest production of gas and that according to the United States Geological Survey the area might also be holding a fifth of the globe's undiscovered hydrocarbon reserves.
The first round of production of gas and liquids will be 43,000 barrels of Oil Equivalent Per Day and the ice will reach a maximum capacity of 145,000 BOEPD by 2015. "This gas gives us the opportunity to vertically integrate our business in Russia, which would make Enel the first foreign energy company to do so," said Marco Arcelli (http://www.enel.com/it-IT/group/board/business_lines/upstream_gas/), director of Enel's upstream gas division. And the Group's Russian arm OGK-5 stands to benefit: it will use its share of extracted gas to power three of its four plants, covering over half of their energy requirements.
Important figures from within Enel and Eni were present at the ceremony that followed the extraction of the first gas molecule, including Arcelli, Eni's CEO Paolo Scaroni and its president Giuseppe Recchi.
There was also a strong presence from Russia, including: the director general of SeverEnergia Vladimir Svaykin; Andrey Burbasov, director general of Arctikgas, which owns the fields; Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson; Gazprom Neft vice-director general Vadim Yakovlev; governor of Yamal-Nenets Dmitry Kobylkin and numerous other representatives of local and federal authorities.