Austria

Natural gas market and infrastructure

Austria hosts inland gas resources and covers approximately 16 % of its gas demand with national reserves. The remaining amounts are imported from the Russian Federation (51 %), Norway (10 %) and Germany (14 %). The Austrian gas grid is a system that has evolved over time. In total the gas grid has a length of more than 38,000 kilometres and because of its geographical location it has an important function as a hub that transports natural gas imports onwards to destinations in Western Europe.

 

Map (Natural Gas grid / storage facilities)

Figure 1: Natural gas grid and storage facilities in Austria (source www.e-control.at)

Relevance regarding the energy supply system
Examples of relevances regarding the energy supply system of Austria are for example the large share of water power. Contributing more than 50 % to the national power generation, water power takes a predominant role in Austria’s energy mix. However, also natural gas is of increasing significance for the country’s energy supply. In 2010 about one forth (23.8 %) of the gross energy consumption and 17.1 % of the final energy consumption were derived from natural gas.The ressources of Austria covers approximately 16 % of its gas demand with national reserves. The remaining amounts are imported from the Russian Federation (51 %), Norway (10 %) and Germany (14 %). The Austrian gas grid is a system that has evolved over time. In total the gas grid has a length of more than 38,000 kilometres and because of its geographical location it has an important function as a hub that transports natural gas imports onwards to destinations in Western Europe.

Gas grid infrastructure data
The national gas grid is mainly owned by private companies. The transportation grid is owned and operated by OMV Gas GmbH. The company is technical operator of all trans-national high pressure grids which include in total 792 kilometers of pipeline system. In detail these are the following: Hungaria-Austria-Gas-Pipeline (HAG), Süd-Ost-Gasleitung (SOL), March-Baumgarten-Gasleitung (MAB), Kittsee-Petrzalka-Gasleitung (KIP), West-Austria-Gasleitung (WAG), Penta-West-Gasleitung (PW) and Trans-Austria-Gasleitung (TAG). The distribution grid is operated by about 23 different private owned DSOs whereas in some companies the Austrian state is a shareholder. The regulator responsible for natural gas and biomethane is divided into two bodies, the Energie Control Austria and the Regulatory Commission of Energie Control. The ÖVGW (Österreichische Vereinigung für das Gas- und Wasserfach / Austrian Gas and Water Association) is in charge of developing technical and economical methods for gas and water supply, and in this context establishes the relevant framework of technical standards

CNG infrastructure data
With about 6,000 CNG cars and a gas consumption of about 475 TJ in 2010 the transport sector is of minor significance for Austria’s natural gas market (less the 2 ‰ of total annual gas consumption). With 170 filling stations Austria has in proportion to the country’s size one of the highest densities in terms of CNG filling stations in Europe. In a few years the gas industry wants to achieve the number of 200 public stations. With the five-point action programme – which was launched in 2006 by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management together with the OMV – natural and biogas as fuel has been encouraged. By offering a CNG fuel with 20 % biomethane share, branded “Bio-CNG”, the public CNG vehicle sector has been opened for biomethane in Austria.