Reusing natural reservoirs and wells
RAG’s core areas of business are oil and gas exploration and production and gas storage. In order to ensure the company’s long-term survival, we are constantly enhancing our core operations through innovation, and research and development (R&D).
Thanks to our use of depleted natural gas reservoirs as gas storage facilities, in the past few years we have made significant strides in enhancing Europe’s security of supply, as well as implementing a new form of sustainable production of natural resources. We have now converted about half of the gas reservoirs discovered in our 80-year history into storage facilities with long useful lives – a figure unmatched anywhere in the world.
RAG invests heavily in innovative projects designed to promote decentralised energy supply. This includes geothermal after-use of dry or depleted wells.
One such project – a deep borehole heat exchanger working in combination with a biomass plant – supplies more than 100 households in Neukirchen an der Vöckla in Upper Austria with environmentally-friendly heating sourced from 2,850 meters below ground. This pioneering scheme marks a major step towards integrating conventional and renewable energy production.
Research into groundbreaking technologies
RAG has initiated various research projects aimed at converting renewables such as wind and solar power into gas that can then be transported and stored using existing natural gas infrastructure. The Underground Sun Storage project is being financed by Austria’s Climate and Energy Fund.
Efficient use of energy and resources
We aim to use and distribute the energy required for our operations as efficiently as possible. The commissioning of CHP plants in Strasswalchen and Kremsmünster has enabled us to make particularly efficient use of electricity and heat from our production and storage facilities, and to inject energy into the public grid.
A project to reduce vehicle emissions has been in place for several years – this involves upgrading the vehicle fleet so that it is predominantly made up of natural gas vehicles, and building the necessary filling stations. These measures will reduce CO2 emissions significantly compared to conventional fuel types, and in some cases eradicate pollution (especially fine particulate dust) altogether. Our goal is to make it simpler for RAG employees and customers, and the general public to switch to environmentally-friendly and affordable technology.