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May 16 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) said on Tuesday it was studying solutions for ongoing outages at its Bergermeer gas storage site in the Netherlands, which have halted gas withdrawals and reduced injection capacity.
Bergermeer is in its second year of full operation. However, the site has suffered significant outages this year.
On March 2, gas withdrawals were halted at Bergermeer after a problem with a heating element forced the shutdown of a drying train, which is used to withdraw gas from the site.
Injection capacity has also been reduced by 30 percent until mid-July due to issues with compressors, which allow gas injection into the site’s reservoir.
Gas storage provides security and flexibility of supply. In the summer, when demand and so prices are low, gas can be put into storage for withdrawal when demand rises in the winter.
In a market update on Tuesday, TAQA said there were occasional element and electrical connector failures and it was working with the equipment manufacturer to understand the cause, carry out repairs and/or improve the reliability of the heater elements.
“TAQA is looking at structural solutions which will address the current challenges,” it said.
“This could be in the form of modifications to the existing equipment and installations, or a full replacement of any equipment that cannot be assured to be reliable for the next 25 years.”
Regarding the compressor issue affecting injection capacity, TAQA said three of six compressors were currently in operation and the other three were undergoing maintenance or repair.
One compressor will be back in operation during the week of May 22. Another will be back online mid-July and the sixth will be available in early September, TAQA said.
Bergermeer is currently around 33 percent full. Customer requirements of 5 gigawatts (GW) can be met with one compressor, 9 GW with two compressors and 12.5 GW with three, TAQA said.
“Based on past actual usage of these contractual rights, forecast of future rights and available alternative measures to satisfy customer requests, (Bergermeer) can opt to either keep customers whole or (partly) curtail contractually,” TAQA said.
“Without giving any guarantees, and based on current variables, three compressors currently do not curtail customers contractual rights,” it added.
In Britain, which imports some of its gas from the Netherlands, the country’s largest gas storage site, Rough, is not available for injection until the end of April next year due to an ongoing outage. (Reporting by Nina Chestney and Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)