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The biggest risk of the natural gas industry: insufficient gas storage capacity

China's natural gas industry has maintained a rapid growth trend in recent years. How to stabilize gas supply has gradually become a major issue related to the national economy and the people's livelihood. Since the beginning of the winter in 2017, due to the rapid growth of demand, the instability of imported gas sources, the rapid development of "coal to gas" and other factors, there have been structural, periodic and regional contradictions between the supply and demand of natural gas in the country. This once again shows that accelerating the construction of gas storage capacity has become one of the most urgent tasks to ensure the stable supply of natural gas in China. The opinions on accelerating the construction of gas storage facilities and improving the market mechanism of gas storage peak shaving auxiliary services (hereinafter referred to as the "opinions") issued by the national development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration on April 26 was issued under this background

statistical data show that the working gas volume of underground gas storage in China is only 3% of the consumption, which is far from the world average level of 12%-15%, and the gap with 17.4% in the United States and 18% in Russia is more obvious. In the future, China's natural gas consumption will also grow rapidly, and the lack of gas storage capacity is the biggest risk. Therefore, the purpose of the document is to speed up the construction of gas storage facilities, appropriately improve the gas storage standards of various market entities, and strive to improve the peak shaving capacity of gas storage to adapt to the growth rate of natural gas demand. It should be said that the opinions have clear objectives, comprehensive contents and many highlights

the first systematic peak shaving system of natural gas reserves bentler Sigri can manage a large number of complex utilization regulations. During the "12th Five Year Plan", in the "several opinions on establishing a long-term mechanism to ensure the stable supply of natural gas" (GBF [2014] No. 16), the "management measures for the construction and operation of natural gas infrastructure" (Order No. 8 of the national development and Reform Commission in 2014) The guiding opinions of the national development and Reform Commission on accelerating the construction of gas storage facilities (fgy [2014] No. 603) and other documents have relevant regulations and requirements on peak shaving of natural gas reserves. However, these policies are fragmented and scattered in the documents of relevant departments, and are not systematized and unified. As a result, it is difficult for all parties in the market to find their own positioning in the field of reserve peak shaving, and there is also a lack of clear rights and responsibilities. In addition, the contents of the regulations are too broad, lack of systematic thinking, do not consider the whole chain of peak shaving of natural gas reserves, and lack of market-oriented assistance and sanctions, which makes it difficult to implement policies and operations

in this opinion, the responsibilities of all market entities and governments involved in reserve peak shaving, the task decomposition of reserve peak shaving, the period of construction of reserve peak shaving facilities and other contents involved in the previous documents are included; At the same time, the standards and scope for the verification of peak shaving indicators of natural gas reserves, the construction of market-oriented peak shaving mechanism and auxiliary service market, the further strengthening of market supervision and the introduction of relevant fiscal and tax policies have also been added, and all-round and systematic provisions and requirements have been made for peak shaving of natural gas reserves in China from the system

clearly put forward the concept of gas storage index verification system

in the previous documents, it was only proposed that gas supply enterprises, downstream cities, and then wait for a certain time at the original speed to the original position. Gas enterprises and local governments should establish natural gas reserves and have a certain gas storage capacity. However, the document did not mention how the gas storage capacity is realized or what the gas storage capacity is

however, in this opinion, it is proposed for the first time that the gas storage capacity is reflected in three parts, namely, the working gas volume of the gas storage, and the tank capacity of LNG and CNG storage tanks. Since the gas supply enterprise has both gas storage and LNG storage tanks, for the gas supply enterprise, its gas storage capacity includes the working gas volume of underground gas storage and the storage tank capacity of LNG terminal; For local emergency reserves, they are divided into terminal peak shaving LNG and CNG storage tanks of local urban gas enterprises, LNG terminal storage tanks constructed by urban gas enterprises alone or jointly with local governments, or underground gas storage facilities invested and constructed by urban gas enterprises. At the same time, the research results of the greenhouse gas emission inventory at all stages of the life cycle of opinion aluminum show that the gas storage capacity of the joint venture construction of gas storage facilities can be calculated according to the proportion of capital shares

the opinion also points out that the capacity of LNG and CNG storage tanks that can be used for peak shaving for downstream transmission and distribution pipelines and terminal gasification stations does not include the reserves of liquefaction plants, terminal gasification stations and bottle group stations, vehicle and vessel filling stations and filling stations, because the sources of such natural gas are relatively scattered and difficult to control, and the sales channels are mostly affected by price factors, so they cannot play the role of peak shaving reserves when the supply of natural gas is tight. Therefore, The reserve capacity of these facilities is eliminated

it is clearly proposed to build a four-level peak shaving system for gas storage.

the opinion proposes to build a multi-level natural gas reserve system, which is divided into four levels of "one main, one auxiliary, one supplement and one support". Underground gas storage and LNG terminal are the main ones, which is the first level; LNG and CNG emergency gas storage in key areas are auxiliary, which is the second level; Gas field peak shaving, interruptible gas volume, alternative energy and other means as a supplement, which is the third level; Pipe interconnection as the fourth level of support

it should be said that after the completion of such four levels, almost all facilities and means that can store natural gas will be included. The opinion also stipulates and arranges the tasks that market participants and the government should undertake at four levels:

in terms of "one owner", it clearly proposes to encourage all kinds of investors to participate in the construction and operation of underground gas storage, including natural gas enterprises (supply enterprises, pipeline enterprises, urban gas enterprises) and other enterprises, with a broader scope; In terms of "one auxiliary", it clarifies the interconnection between LNG terminals and trunk pipelines, and increases LNG tanker loading skids as much as possible, so as to cope with the phenomenon that LNG terminals cannot quickly enter the pipeline or be transported to areas with tight natural gas supply after receiving and unloading gas last year due to the lack of connectivity between the terminal and trunk pipelines and insufficient tanker loading skids; In terms of "one supplement", the task of coordinating local governments and urban gas enterprises is mainly because the task of three-day demand undertaken by local governments will also be completed by urban gas enterprises. The specific way may be government investment, enterprise construction and operation or enterprise investment, construction and operation, and the government will give investment subsidies and price subsidies; In terms of "one support", we should emphasize the importance of both infrastructure construction and management of interconnection. We should not only do enough increment, but also tap the potential stock

build a market mechanism for gas storage peak shaving auxiliary service

the concept of auxiliary service market mechanism has been used in the reform of the power industry, which is the first time in the natural gas industry

since the government forces market players to build a certain number of reserve peak shaving facilities, under the current situation that the natural gas system and price mechanism are not perfect, how to regulate the investment, construction and use of reserve facilities, and how to share the natural gas cost after investment in reserve facilities and reflect it in the price, all need to be solved through the auxiliary service market

the government will no longer participate in pricing

the opinion points out that the price of gas storage services (gas storage facilities injection and production, storage services, etc.) and the purchase and sale price of natural gas in gas storage facilities are formed by market competition, which makes it clear that the government will no longer participate in the pricing of gas storage

in the past, there was a prominent contradiction in the price of gas storage directly designated by the government. Affected by geological conditions, the investment of different gas reservoirs varies greatly, and the corresponding price differences are also very large. The government directly sets the price of gas storage, which is not only difficult to match the price level with the low and peak season price difference (reasonable gas storage price) independently formed by the market, but also easy to cause social doubts about the excessive discretion of the pricing department

from the perspective of natural gas industry chain, gas storage is a kind of gas source mainly used for peak shaving. It has the conditions to compete with pipeline gas, liquefied natural gas and other gas sources, and is not suitable for natural monopoly links. The direction of price reform is to let the market price. At present, more than 40% of the domestic gas price has been formed by the market. Although less than 60% of the remaining natural valve station prices are managed by the government, they have good price elasticity due to the implementation of the maximum price management. Therefore, according to the market supply and demand, gas storage enterprises can independently determine different prices in the light and peak seasons within the price elasticity space, and form the gas storage price from the price difference in the light and peak seasons. After the full liberalization of natural gas prices in the future, the price elasticity will further increase, and the mechanism of forming gas storage prices in the market will be further improved

may lead to the integration of downstream urban gas market

in the past, China's downstream natural gas market players mainly obtained urban gas projects by obtaining franchise rights, and then obtained income by developing users in the region. Franchising is a right granted by the government to gas enterprises to obtain income, but the acquisition of this right is based on the enterprises' undertaking the necessary social universal service obligation, which is to ensure that the supply of natural gas cannot be interrupted, and how to ensure uninterrupted and appropriately reserve part of natural gas for peak shaving is one of the effective means. However, affected by factors such as excessive project investment, complex storage location conditions and unreasonable terminal gas consumption structure, many gas enterprises have not considered the construction of peak shaving facilities for natural gas reserves. Therefore, when the natural gas supply is tight, most gas enterprises lack the means and measures to ensure the supply of natural gas

this opinion clearly links the responsibility of reserve peak shaving with the enterprise's obtaining the franchise right. In essence, it also urges some gas enterprises to assume the obligation of ensuring supply, rather than pushing the government to have a strong demand for rare earth permanent magnet materials in case of supply problems. It should be said that a number of enterprises that lack the necessary reserve peak shaving capacity, only focus on obtaining the franchise rights, regardless of users' stable gas supply and providing universal services, will gradually be eliminated by the market or acquired by powerful gas enterprises. In the tide of the construction of natural gas reserve peak shaving facilities, the urban gas industry may face another round of market integration

the introduction of the opinions is only the first step. To truly implement the relevant contents in the document, we also need the unity and cooperation of local governments and market participants to overcome difficulties and compact in a short time, and make up for the shortcomings of peak shaving of natural gas reserves and ensure the stable supply of natural gas across the country

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