SIMFEROPOL, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The state-owned joint-stock company Chernomorneftegaz on Wednesday began pumping gas into underground storage facilities, Vadim Zhdanov, the first deputy minister of fuel and energy of Crimea, told a briefing.

“Crimea is fully supplied with natural gas and surplus volumes from today are being pumped into an underground storage facility. Last year, Crimea consumed 650 million cubic metres of gas, while the Chernomorneftegaz company produced 1.65 billion cubic metres of gas. With the development of the Odessa deposit and new wells beginning to yield gas within the year, we expect to produce over 2 billion cubic metres of gas in 2014, Zhdanov said.

He said surplus gas that accumulated in the summer period would be pumped into the storage facility to be used in winter. “Gas consumption in summer and winter varies considerably. About 2 billion cubic metres of gas a day is used in summer and from 7.5 to 9 million cubic metres in winter, depending on temperatures. With the temperature dropping below minus 20 degrees Centigrade gas consumption peaked to 12 million cubic metres a day,” he said.

Chernomorneftegaz increased gas output by 40.6% in 2013. The company plans to extract 3 billion cubic metres of gas annually by 2015.

Chernomorneftegaz is prospecting for hydrocarbons on the shelf of the Black Sea and Azov Sea and develops two gas condensate deposits, seven gas deposits and one oil deposit on the peninsula. The company serves 17 deposits and owns a gas transportation system and an underground gas storage facility.