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Gazprom Shut Down Dozens of Natural Gas Wells Ahead of Spring Floods

Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom had to shut down more than two dozen producing wells during the spring floods in the Orenburg region to keep the gas-producing wells from flooding, the local Gazprom unit said.

River and floodwaters rose early this month in the Orenburg region in southwestern Russia near the Ural River in the worst flooding in the area in 80 years. Water levels in the Ural jumped well above the river’s bursting point.      

To avoid flooding of operating wells, Gazprom’s local unit, Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg, shut down over a dozen of these, the company said in an in-house publication cited by Reuters on Monday. 

The oil and gas field in Orenburg pumps about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 300,000 tons of oil and gas condensate annually, according to Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg.

The company said in a statement on Monday that it has been monitoring production facilities from the air during the floods. Three of the 11 integrated gas treatment units of the company are located in the flood zone, it added. A helicopter inspection of the producing facilities showed that no damages or oil and gas leakages had occurred, Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg said.  

The strong spring floods have also shut down one refinery near Orenburg in Russia as they compromised a dam in the area forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

Russian media reported earlier this month that the dam breach had sunk the old part of the city of Orsk and the level of water in the Ural River is gradually rising, threatening Orenburg, the administrative headquarters of the Orenburg region in southwestern Russia, near the border with Kazakhstan.

Authorities have reported floods all along the length of the Ural, which flows across southwestern Russia and Kazakhstan and drains into the Caspian Sea.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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