Lessons learnt from few hours at Gastech 2022 in Milan

Gwenola Michaud - GM Consulting

Written by Gwenola Michaud 

Gas Storage

Lessons learnt from few hours at Gastech 2022 in Milan

Gwenola Michaud - GM Consulting

Writen by Gwenola Michaud 

Gas Storage

Last month the 50th anniversary edition of Gastech took place in from 5th to 8th September in Milan, and I took the opportunity to spend a couple of hours on the exhibition floor. Conversations ranged from natural gas, hydrogen and low-carbon solutions, and were unsurprisingly preoccupied with the current environment. In view of the difficult geopolitical context and high energy prices, it was a key moment to be together and hopefully inspire collaborative action that provides coordinated solutions and responses for a fair, affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all. Hydrocarbons remain ever-present while we accelerate the transition towards the consumption of cleaner energy.

Digital solutions are needed to reach the right balance in data management and insight

To approach a greener and safer world, sharing and simplifying digital and data solutions will drive towards energy transition at an increased rate. Data management and insight remain high-priority topics for both exchange and action. Technical teams and decision makers strive to strike the right balance between too little and too much data. In some cases, data is locked within applications and difficult for team members to access when needed.

On the other hand, too much data presents its own problems; demanding additional time in management in order to extract insight and information. Managing data well allows analysts to better predict trends and monitor changes to help

decision makers to adapt according to the situation.

Good data and good digital or how to define it?

It was interesting to hear the term “good data” in association with “good digital”. This resonates when considering that in geophysics, we examine the distinction between signal and noise. Bearing in mind that noise is the part of the data we don’t yet understand, or we have categorized as not part of the signal of interest, the distinction of ”good data” versus noise throws into question the model and risks in being biased. And this notion is key when approaching research and solutions for digital solutions, where expertise and experience need to meet and work together.

Hydrogen and CCUS projects to develop further in Europe

Blue and green hydrogen is clearly on everyone’s radar. The current crisis will help push forward the use and adoption of hydrogen in Europe for sectors including refining, shipping and aviation. The RePowerEu plan has the potential to positively influence the evolution of the hydrogen economy while reducing Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels coming from Russia. In addition, Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) will play a role in managing emissions to achieve new zero goals. We should expect governments and the EU to fund programs that develop private sector hydrogen projects.

Gas storage in Europe has reached more than 90% of capacity

In the meantime, gas storage in Europe has reached more than 90% of full capacity, following one of the highest injection rates observed since 2011. One key uncertainty is how harsh the coming winter 2022-2023 will be and how this will influence storage inventories come spring and preparation for the following winter. Figure 1 is an illustration of the cycle of gas injection (light blue) and withdrawal (dark blue) over the past 10 years. The curves of injection and withdrawal cross in the spring around March-April and in autumn around October-November depending on the consumption rate.

Figure 1: Injection (light blue) and Withdrawal (blue) over the past 10 years – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

This year, the daily injection rate has been one of the highest rates observed over the last 10 years (Figure 2), reaching more than 80% of full capacity in September (Figure 3).

: Injection by month and year with a focus on 2022 – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

Figure 2: Injection by month and year with a focus on 2022 – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

20221010 picture

Figure 3: Percentage of full over the last 10 years with a focus on 2022 – PowerBI dashboard with data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

Usually, gas is stored during the summer, when gas prices are relatively low. As we all know this was not the case this year, as illustrated in Figure 4. Nonetheless, in spite of the elevated price of gas, the gas injection rate has been particularly high and steady.

gas price 202210

Figure 4: Gas Price in USD over the past 22 years – Data from Yahoo! Finance.

Relative to gas price, the recent reports from the news tend to focus on the evolution over the last 10 years. As a result, this year’s gas price seems to take unpreceded highs. However, when looking at the data over the last 20 years, gas has reached already several highs this century: during summer 2008, the second half of 2005, and winter 2000. So, the current gas price situation is only one of the many other we have experienced over the last 25 years. The difference this time is the backdrop of war in the east of Europe, the joint increase in electricity price and the urgency of transitioning towards greener, safer and more sustainable energy.

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Gwenola Michaud - GM Consulting

Gwenola Michaud

360° Energy and Environment Consultant

20 years of expertise in managing people and projects, as well as developing, testing and delivering software solutions to improve team success and business growth.

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