Volcano power plant can generate 10X more energy than oil or gas wells

Iceland's Thor volcano

Iceland’s “Thor” volcano can generate 10X more energy than oil or gas wells by tapping into liquid hot magma.

Geothermal energy is nothing new, but Iceland’s volcano will take things to a whole new level.

Named after a Nordic god, “Thor” is a rig that symbolises Iceland’s leading-edge efforts to produce powerful clean energy. Engineers plan to drill nearly 3 miles into the live volcano to tap liquid hot magma.

The extreme heat and pressure at this depth makes the water take the form of a “supercritical” fluid, which is neither gas nor liquid.

The aim is to generate electricity from the heat stored inside the depths of the volcano by creating steam that causes turbines to move and generate power.

The well is anticipated to be the hottest hole on earth, containing magma that averages 427 °C (800 °F). The hole, completed in January this year has begun production – and if successful, the clean energy source will be able to generate ten times more energy than standard oil or gas wells.

Albert Albertsson, an engineer at the Icelandic energy company HS Orka, involved in the project says; “we expect to get five to ten times more power from the well than a conventional well today.”

The geothermal well is expected to generate enough energy to supply electricity and hot water to the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik, with a population of 212,000.

Usually, you would require 30-35 conventional wells to generate enough energy for a city of this size, however, if Thor performs as expected, it would only take 3 – 5 wells.

The volcano is situated not far from the Blue Lagoon – a stream attracting more than a million tourists last year.

Thor also overlooks craters formed by the last volcanic eruption that took place 700 years ago, covering part of Reykjanes peninsula with a sea of lava.

Scientists and engineers working on the “Thor” experiment have two years to determine its success and the economic feasibility of the drill project.

 Thor Iceland

Also read:

Britain achieves first ever coal-free day ‘since Industrial Revolution’






Image source: inhabitat

Gazprom provides reliable gas supplies throughout past winter season amid growing demand

The Gazprom Management Committee reviewed the operating results of the Company's subsidiaries and organizations over the 2016–2017 autumn/winter period and discussed the measures to be taken for ensuring an uninterrupted gas supply to consumers in the upcoming winter.

It was noted that in the past winter Gazprom had provided reliable gas deliveries to consumers.

Between October 2016 and March 2017, Gazprom’s gas transmission system within Russia’s Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) conveyed 231.2 billion cubic meters of gas, a 7 per cent increase against the previous season.

Meanwhile, the Company’s gas exports to Europe reached 103.6 billion cubic meters due to a surge in demand for Russian gas, adding 18 per cent versus the October–March period of 2015–2016. For four consecutive months from October 2016 through January 2017, Gazprom set new records for monthly gas exports to that market. In addition, the Company hit a record high of 636.4 million cubic meters in daily gas deliveries on January 27, 2017.

The reliability of the Company’s gas supplies to Russian and foreign consumers can be attributed to, among other things, ample gas reserves in underground gas storage (UGS) facilities and increased deliverability thereof. By the withdrawal season, working gas inventories totaled 72.098 billion cubic meters, with the potential maximum daily deliverability climbing to a record high of 801.3 million cubic meters. During the withdrawal season (from October 2016 through April 2017), some 47 billion cubic meters of gas was offtaken from the UGS facilities, which is the highest figure over the past ten seasons. By the 2017–2018 autumn/winter period, the potential maximum daily deliverability of Russia-based UGS facilities is expected to reach 805.3 million cubic meters.

In order to ensure the reliable operation of the UGSS in the 2017–2018 autumn/winter period, the Gazprom Management Committee tasked the Company's specialized structural units and subsidiaries with the following assignments:

  • to stockpile at least 72.184 billion cubic meters of working gas inventories in UGS facilities in Russia, 1.09 billion cubic meters in Belarus, and 0.13 billion cubic meters in Armenia by the next withdrawal season;
  • to implement the Basic Guidelines on preparing the facilities of Gazprom's subsidiaries and organizations for the 2017–2018 autumn/winter period;
  • to perform scheduled preventive maintenance and repair at gas production, transmission, underground storage and processing facilities, as well as to prepare transportation vehicles and specialized equipment for operation during the winter season.

Summer energy tips: How to cut down on costs

Save on energy costs during summer

The summer season couldn’t be closer, and while you may be welcoming the warmer weather with open arms, your energy bills can quickly add up.

With temperatures rising, there are several things you can do to make sure that your energy costs don’t rise with the heat.

Here are some tips to help your business some money this summer.

Keep the cool air in

With the hot sun beating down on us, many businesses will crank up the air conditioner without second thought.

If you have an existing air conditioning system in place, you may want to think about servicing or repairing it to help keep the system running smoothly and efficiently.

Insulating your business premises doesn’t just keep the cold air out in the winter, it also prevents hot air from getting in during the summer. If using air conditioning, remember to keep windows and doors shut to keep the cool air from flowing out.

According to the Department of Energy, you can also save 10 per cent a year on your cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 7°- 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

Service your boiler

Summer is the best time to make sure your business boiler is in good shape before winter. An annual service by a Gas Safe registered engineer should help catch any problems, keeping your business safe and warm throughout the year. If it turns out that your boiler needs a little more than just a service, it’s much easier dealing with it in summer when it is warm, when you’re not as dependent on it.

Preventing problems with your boiler helps avoid unnecessary hassles to your business routine. A faulty boiler could waste you money on energy and might even start leaking poisonous carbon monoxide.

Make the most of natural lighting

It may sound obvious, but many businesses still struggle to achieve maximum efficiency when it comes to office lighting.

Apart from using fluorescent bulbs that use around about 75 per cent less energy than standard light bulbs, you can make use of natural light coming into your office.

You may need to figure out where the sun will be and when, and rearrange the layout of your business space accordingly. Move desks around so that they are not in direct line with the main window when the sun is beaming in throughout the afternoon. This way you can keep your blinds open and your lights off.

What else?

Here are some easy other ways you can help feel more comfortable during the summer months:

  • If there is a heatwave, relaxing business dress may help staff morale
  • Using a fan can help increase the efficiency of an air conditioning system
  • Turn off anything which creates heat when not in use, such as printers and monitors
  • If you’re not making use of air conditioning, open windows and doors to prevent stuffiness

Many business leaders tend to pay more attention to their energy consumption during the winter months, however for every pound that they save on lower heating bills, they’re likely to be spending the same amount, if not more on air conditioning.

Also, don’t assume that you have to wait until the winter before you take serious control of your energy usage. Start today!

You may also want to read:

Checklist: 10 ways to save energy in the workplace






Gazprom ramping up gas sales to Russian consumers through exchange trading

The Gas Supply to Domestic Market. Executing Russian Regions Gasification Program Press Conference was held at Gazprom’s office in Moscow today in the lead-up to the annual General Shareholders Meeting. The Press Conference featured Kirill Seleznev, Member of the Management Committee, Head of Department of Gazprom, and Director General of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz.

Gazprom ramping up gas sales to Russian consumers through exchange trading

Kirill Seleznev

It was noted at the Press Conference that Gazprom had sold 214.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Russian consumers (according to the International Financial Reporting Standards) in 2016, which is 2.8 per cent less than in 2015. The Company’s revenue from gas sales in the domestic market amounted to RUB 819.9 billion under IFRS (a 1.8 per cent increase versus 2015).

Gazprom is ramping up its gas sales at the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX). In 2016, Gazprom traded 10.7 billion cubic meters of gas (compared to 4.3 billion cubic meters in 2015) there, gaining a 64 per cent share in total sales at SPIMEX. Regional consumers express considerable interest in organized trading on SPIMEX: Gazprom supplied its gas to 45 Russian regions in 2016 (against 39 regions in 2015).

Efforts continue to implement the ambitious Russian Regions Gasification Program. Between 2005 and 2016, Gazprom invested therein some RUB 295.2 billion in total. Over that period, the Program resulted in the construction of 2,046 gas pipelines stretching over 28,000 kilometers (including 163 gas pipelines with an overall length of some 1,425 kilometers built in 2016) and the creation of conditions for converting 5,060 boiler houses to gas and connecting around 815,000 households and apartments to gas lines.

Thanks to the Gasification Program, Russia’s average gas penetration level surged from 53.3 per cent in 2005 to 67.2 per cent in 2016, going up from 60 to 70.9 per cent in urban areas and from 34.8 to 57.1 per cent in rural areas.

Gazprom ramping up gas sales to Russian consumers through exchange trading

Russia’s average gas penetration level surged from 53.3 per cent in 2005 to 67.2 per cent in 2016

One of the main obstacles to the execution of the Program is that Russia’s regional administrations fail in their obligations to prepare consumers to receive gas. Since 2005, only 11 Russian constituent entities (Belgorod, Kemerovo, Kursk, Omsk, Penza, Tyumen and Yaroslavl Regions, Republics of Kalmykia and Mordovia, Chuvash Republic, and the city of St. Petersburg) have fully met their obligations.

Another urgent issue hampering the execution of gas supply and gasification programs is the non-payment by consumers for gas deliveries. In 2016, the outstanding debt payable to Gazprom by all consumer groups added 7.1 per cent against 2016, reaching RUB 160.8 billion.

Gazprom makes comprehensive efforts to strengthen financial discipline and actively cooperates with Russian authorities to further improve the national legislation in the gas supply sector.

The Press Conference also touched upon other aspects of the Company's operational and marketing activities in different Russian regions.

Watch Press Conference

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For Gazprom’s Press Conferences audio broadcast please dial:
+7 495 719-35-77 (Russian)
+7 495 719-30-00 (English)


Press Conference




Gazprom expanding cooperation with Russia’s military-industrial complex

Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, took part in the meeting of the Board of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation chaired by Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, held today in Rybinsk.

Gazprom expanding cooperation with Russia’s military-industrial complex

Dmitry Rogozin (left) and Alexey Miller (center) touring production workshops at Saturn factory in Rybinsk. Photo by RIA Novosti

The event was devoted to business diversification in Russia’s military-industrial complex (MIC) in the interests of Gazprom. It was noted that the Company was interested in expanding cooperation and widening the use of scientific and technological capacities of the MIC in the development of cutting-edge technologies and equipment, including import-substituting ones, for the gas industry. Such cooperation should be focused primarily on state-of-the-art compressor equipment, hydrocarbon production in offshore environments, and natural gas liquefaction.

A number of documents were signed after the meeting.

Alexey Miller and Alexander Artyukhov, Director General of United Engine Corporation (UEC), signed an Agreement of Intent. Pursuant to the document, the parties will explore the possibility of establishing a production entity focused on assembly, testing, repair and maintenance of standardized 25 MW gas compressors (GPA-25U) on the platform of UEC – Gas Turbines.

A standardized gas compressor should meet the advanced technical requirements with regard to energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, reliability, and reparability. UEC is supposed to invest in the drafting of design and process documentation and the establishment of the production entity, while Gazprom, in its turn, plans to purchase such compressors.

Alexey Miller and Alexander Artyukhov also signed an Agreement of Intent between Gazprom and Rostec, a state-owned corporation. In accordance with the Agreement, the two corporations will look into opportunities for synergy in the setting up of a separate entity on the platform of Ufa-AviaGaz for assembly, testing, repair and maintenance of AL-31ST gas turbine engines. A financial feasibility study will be conducted and a business plan will be drawn up during the first stage of the project.

Alexey Miller and Sergey Fomin, First Deputy Director General of Russian Helicopters, inked an Agreement of Intent to build maritime helicopters. The document envisages cooperation between the parties on the design, production and maintenance by Russian Helicopters of Mi-171A2 helicopters of the offshore modification that are as good as their foreign equivalents and have the same or lower price. Gazprom plans to purchase such helicopters to transport personnel and cargo from onshore bases to offshore drilling and production platforms and auxiliary vessels.

In addition, Gazprom Space Systems and United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) signed today an Agreement of partnership and cooperation. The parties will explore the opportunity of building five satellites as part of the development of the Gazprom-owned SMOTR aerospace system for remote sensing of the Earth and the creation of the Arktika state multi-purpose space system. Two of those satellites are meant for ensuring industrial safety at facilities located in the Arctic and navigation safety along the Northern Sea Route. The other three satellites will secure high-speed communication to mobile units in the Arctic. It is planned to manufacture satellites at an assembly plant of Gazprom Space Systems, while URSC will arrange for the production of launch vehicles for throwing satellites into orbit from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.


The use of standardized solutions in building gas compressors helps optimize capital expenditures and reduce the time spent on the design and construction of compressor stations, as well as cut down operating costs for the maintenance and repair of core process equipment. By deploying 16 MW standardized gas compressors at its facilities, Gazprom reduced its expenses on design (up to 20 per cent) and installation (up to 30 per cent) and sped up equipment design and delivery.

Ufa Engine Industrial Association and Ufa-AviaGaz, both part of Rostec, produce AL-31ST gas turbine drive engines in various modifications. More than 70 such engines are currently in use at Gazprom’s compressor stations.


Mexican Ministry of Energy awards three geothermal exploration permits: a key step forward for ENGIE and Reykjavik Geothermal

Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) has issued three exploration permits to ENGIE, a global energy company, and Reykjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic geothermal development company. These permits authorise their holders to spend three years exploring geothermal resources located in three zones, each measuring 150 km2, in Sangangüey (in the state of Nayarit) and in Cerro Pinto and Las Derrumbadas (in the state of Puebla).

This major step forward in the development of geothermal energy in Mexico follows the signature of a cooperation agreement on December 7, 2015 between ENGIE, through its wholly owned subsidiary Storengy, and Reykjavik Geothermal, geared towards obtaining and jointly developing Mexico’s concessions and geothermal exploration permits.

Both efficient and economical, geothermal energy is a renewable, non-intermittent and eco-friendly source of energy that uses heat from deep underground for heating, power generation and even air-conditioning systems. It is the main activity of Reykjavik Geothermal and one of the components of the energy transition in which ENGIE intends to become a world leader. ENGIE is a leading producer and supplier in Europe of geothermal energy for the heating and cooling of residential or commercial facilities, using various geothermal sources.

The Mexican Energy Reform has effectively opened up the electricity market and is encouraging private investors to participate in power generation. With the greening of the energy mix, this reform opens the door to the development of the country’s abundant geothermal resources.

Accordingly, the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER), the Mexican Development Bank Nacional Financiera (NAFIN) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) jointly backed the development of a programme designed to curb the risks of exploration. This has played a key role in attracting private developers and will be a key element in helping the various actors to overcome the barrier to exploration in the domain of geothermal development.

ENGIE, primarily through its subsidiary Storengy, and Reykjavik Geothermal are convinced that geothermal energy is destined to play a major role in Mexico’s energy mix. To make geothermal energy all the more competitive, these companies are working on a full reflection of the geothermal sustainable and baseload values in the pricing.

“We are very confident regarding the potential of those areas, in order to develop carbon-free projects, which are at the heart of our strategy” stated Cécile Prévieu, CEO of Storengy.

“With these three licenses granted, Reykjavik Geothermal reinforces its position in the Mexican geothermal market” underlined CEO of Reykjavik Geothermal Gudmundur Thoroddsson.

Efrain Villanueva Arcos, General Director of Clean Energies of SENER has stated: “Granting these exploration permits to a partnership between France and Iceland marks a major step in the implementation of the geothermal energy reform since they are the first 100% foreign capital companies to invest in the Mexican geothermal industry.”

Thanks to their complementary know-how, ENGIE, through its subsidiary Storengy, and Reykjavik Geothermal will jointly continue the exploration programme for each of the three awarded permits.


About Reykjavik Geothermal

Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) is an internationally active geothermal development company focused on power development in regions which have significant yet often under-developed geothermal resources due to technical, policy and financing challenges that have historically hindered the development of geothermal. RG is active in several regions primarily in East Africa, Asia and Latin America in many cases commonly associated with the “ring of fire” while selectively exploring opportunities in the Middle East, US and Europe.

Reykjavik Geothermal is active in Mexican geothermal business since 2011, with the participation in Ceboruco project in the state of Nayarit. RG and its partners have been awarded by SENER one of the first two private geothermal exploration permits in the region of the Ceboruco volcano.



ENGIE develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take on the major challenges of energy’s transition to a low-carbon economy: access to sustainable energy, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, security of supply and the rational use of resources. The Group provides individuals, cities and businesses with highly efficient and innovative solutions largely based on its expertise in four key sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, liquefied natural gas and digital technology. ENGIE employs 153,090 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €66.6 billion in 2016. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, CAC 40 Governance, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).

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EcoGas fuel brand presented at Tatarstan’s largest sports event

Kazan hosted Kazan Marathon 2017, the most popular sports competition in the Republic of Tatarstan. Gazprom served as an official partner of the event, presenting the new fuel brand EcoGas.

Marathon starting

Marathon starting

Some 10,000 professional and amateur runners from 400 Russian cities and 25 countries took part in the 42-, 21-, 10- and 3-kilometer races. The marathon started and finished next to the Kazan Kremlin.

Some 10,000 athletes from 25 countries take part in marathon races

Some 10,000 athletes from 25 countries take part in marathon races

Gazprom consistently promotes the use of natural gas as the greenest fuel under the new brand name EcoGas. Currently, the Company’s gas filling network includes 254 CNG stations in 61 Russian regions. The aggregate design capacity of the stations is some 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

Team of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo

Team of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo

The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the key regions where Gazprom works to advance gas conversion in the transportation sector. In 2016, the Company put in operation nine new CNG stations in Tatarstan. With a total of 19 CNG stations, Gazprom’s gas filling network in the region became the largest such network in the country. Today, it provides EcoGas fuel to over 45,000 vehicles per month. Eco-friendly passenger vehicles purchased by the Government of Tatarstan under a federal subsidy program serve about 1.5 million people every month.

Marathon runners

Marathon runners

“Our new fuel brand EcoGas reflects the working principles of Gazprom, as we strive to generate environmentally friendly products, follow global trends in energy efficiency, and protect the environment. By promoting the greenest vehicle fuel and supporting major sports events, we take different approaches to addressing the challenge of helping millions of people lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Mikhail Likhachev, Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo.

EcoGas fuel brand presented at Tatarstan’s largest sports event

EcoGas is on average five times more environmentally efficient than diesel fuel and gasoline


The production and sales of natural gas as a vehicle fuel is one of Gazprom's strategic priorities. Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo is a special-purpose company established for ensuring the continuous development of the NGV market.

Gazprom registered the EcoGas brand with the purpose of recognizing natural gas as a vehicle fuel.

EcoGas is on average five times more environmentally efficient than diesel fuel and gasoline, and is also safer and more cost-effective.


7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

The 7th corporate Fakel Festival concluded with its final round in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi.

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Performers from different ensembles singing final song ‘Closing the Circle’

The final round involved delegations of Gazprom’s 40 subsidiaries from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as a team of China’s CNPC. The Festival was attended by Gazprom’s foreign partners representing Bolivia, France, Germany, Slovenia, and Vietnam.

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Triumph competitive ballroom dancing ensemble (Gazprom Transgaz Ufa)

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Los Chakis folk band (Bolivian oil and gas company)

“The Fakel Festival is not only a creative outlet for contestants, but also a chance to hone their talents by learning from the country’s best artists. For the whole system to work, one has to pay particular attention to management. Our hosts – Gazprom Transgaz Krasnodar – have set the bar extremely high,” said Alexander Bespalov, Head of Gazprom Department, Head of the Festival’s Organizing Committee.

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Enthusiastic crowd at gala concert

The jury and the public were treated to 126 performances in such categories as “Vocals,” “Choreography,” “Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles,” “Circus and Performance Art,” and “Folk Music.” In addition, the Young Painter contest was held at the Festival. The laureates and winners of the Festival were announced on May 18 and May 19, respectively.

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Festival’s top prize winners Anna Peresvetova (Solo Vocals) from Gazprom Dobycha Astrakhan (center), Vyacheslav Zmeu (Instrumental Music) from Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk (left), and Anastasia Nizharadze (Young Painter contest) from Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk (right)

The top prizes of the Festival were awarded to singer Anna Peresvetova (Gazprom Dobycha Astrakhan), instrumentalist Vyacheslav Zmeu (Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk), Rashtav folk band (Gazprom Transgaz Nizhny Novgorod), and painter Anastasia Nizharadze (Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk).

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Alexander Bespalov handing top prize for Folk Music Ensemble to Rashtav folk band from Gazprom Transgaz Nizhny Novgorod

A special prize from Verbundnetz Gas was awarded to Young Painter contestant Anna Fyodorova (Gazprom UGS): a trip to Dresden with a visit to the world-famous picture gallery. Engie awarded a trip to France, including a visit to the Paris Opera, to singers Asiyat Saigidova (Gazprom Transgaz Saratov) and Darya Troyan (Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy).

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Young Painter contestant Anna Fyodorova from Gazprom UGS, winner of special prize from Verbundnetz Gas (trip to Dresden, including visit to world-famous picture gallery)

7th corporate Fakel Festival for amateur ensembles and performers concludes in Sochi

Singers Asiyat Saigidova from Gazprom Transgaz Saratov and Darya Troyan from Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy receive special prize from Engie (trip to France, including visit to Paris Opera)

“I had the privilege of being at the origins of the Fakel Festival. Over these years, the Festival has grown into a federal event. I am confident that this Festival will enter the annals of Russia’s culture,” said jury chairwoman Alexandra Permyakova, People’s Artist of Russia.


The biennial Festival has a tripartite structure. During the first round, Gazprom’s subsidiaries select their best performers, who then take part in the zonal rounds. The zonal rounds (for the southern and northern zones) are held at the second stage. The winners then perform in the third and final round.

The first corporate Fakel Festival was conducted in 2004–2005. The host cities of the zonal rounds included Astrakhan, Belgorod, Kazan, Khanty-Mansiysk, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg (twice), Surgut, Tomsk, Yekaterinburg, and Yugorsk. The final rounds of the Festival were held in Gelendzhik (2006–2012), Vitebsk (Belarus, 2013), and Sochi (2015).

Full coverage of the Festival is available at its official website www.gazpromfakel.ru (in Russian).