February 20, 2023 (06:08)

Energy security and the importance of domestic natural gas extraction in Slovakia

On February 15, 2023 in Bratislava Cepconsult took part in the SPNZ conference “Energy security and the importance of domestic natural gas extraction”

As part of the EU’s RePower program, Slovakia has pledged to significantly reduce its dependence on natural gas supplies from Russia by 2027. For the year 2022, it was possible to diversify transportation routes and supplies of natural gas in such a way that it reduced dependence on Russia by two thirds. Other possibilities are the support of domestic production of biomethane, hydrogen and the increase of natural gas extraction. On average, Slovakia extracts 60 million cubic meters per year, which corresponds to approximately 1% of natural gas consumption. However, the potential is up to ten times higher.

During the conference Peter Kremský, Chairman of the Committee for Economic Affairs of the Parlament, Martin Bartošovič, CEO of NAFTA, Erich Veselényi, Chairman of the Main Mining Office of the Slovak Republic disscussed: How can natural gas extraction be accelerated in Slovakia? What are the benefits or risks? Will Slovakia once again become an important producer of natural gas in Central Europe, and what obstacles does it have to overcome?

“Regarding the detailed volume of gas extraction in the Trnava area, it is necessary to carry out exploratory wells”, emphasized Bartošovič, adding that “the estimate of geologists is around 400-500 mcm of gas per year, which is significantly more than today’s 60-70 mcm”.

According to him, the wells implemented by NAFTA are extremely expensive and high-cost. However, they also have downstream uses, which NAFTA tries to communicate with municipalities and local entrepreneurs. For example, in the Trnava region, there is a large drop in the level of drinking water. For wells deeper than 2 km, the use of dry heat also comes into consideration, according to him. The relevant project near Trebišov is awaiting EIA approval, although it is an old well that has been tapped and already passed through the EIA during mining. The dry heat from the well could subsequently be used to heat domestic hot water, explained the head of the NAFTA company, which is also working intensively on research projects in the field of storing a mixture of methane and hydrogen, hydrogen itself, as well as synthetic gases, biogas and biomethane.

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