A decarbonised future will require massive, seasonally flexible energy storage capacity. All this is provided by RAG.
In 2018 Rohöl-Aufsuchungs AG, Austria’s oldest-established exploration, production and gas storage company with a history stretching back 80 years, was split into two new businesses: RAG Austria AG and RAG Exploration & Production GmbH. RAG Austria AG focuses on the core gas storage business, as well as developing and expanding the use of cutting-edge energy technologies. Operations also extend to gas production, supply and trading, as well as the use and marketing of gas as a transport fuel.
RAG Austria AG is playing a vital role in achieving Austria’s ambitious climate goals, and in the sustainable stewardship of the country’s raw material and energy supplies. Without the energy in RAG’s storage facilities, phased decarbonisation would not be possible, so they are key to future energy security.
RAG Austria AG is committed to maximising quality and maintaining its strong long-term commercial performance by leveraging its longstanding subsurface engineering expertise, wide-ranging technological capabilities, high environmental and safety standards, and collaborative and transparent corporate culture. The company’s success reflects its ability to innovate, and to spot and capitalise on new trends and business opportunities.
RAG’s goal is to provide its customers with safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and affordable energy and gas storage services – sustainably and responsibly.
Gas storage facilities are the lifeblood of security of supply. With total storage capacity of about six billion (bn) cubic meters (cu m) of natural gas, RAG is Austria’s largest gas storage company, and one of Europe’s leading storage operators. The storage business is the company’s mainstay. About half of all the gas reservoirs discovered in the RAG’s 80-year history have been converted into gas storage facilities up to now, and this figure will rise in the next few years as RAG makes good on its vision of sustainable raw material production, delivering a decisive boost to security of supply in Austria and Europe as a whole.
Securing energy supplies for the future that can provide energy sustainably and affordably, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency, is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. The energy carrier of the future can only be gas – methane and hydrogen. The advantages are obvious: gas is inexpensive, clean and efficient. It can ensure that climate targets are met, and it is a partner to renewables that is itself renewable. Gas can be manufactured from wind, solar and biomass energy, and in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) it helps reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transportation directly.
For RAG, focusing on gas, an energy carrier that is highly versatile and promising, means looking at it from a new perspective. Conventional natural gas, which will continue to play an indispensable role in energy supplies, is only one aspect of this. The other is “green gas” – biogas (or biomethane) made from waste materials, and synthetic gas produced using power-to-gas technology. The Underground Sun Storage and Underground Sun Conversion projects developed by RAG have opened up the unique proposition of storing large volumes of gas produced from renewable sources – such as solar and wind power (synthetic methane and hydrogen) – seasonally and carbon-neutrally underground for withdrawal whenever they are needed. This turns RAG’s gas storage facilities into energy storage facilities, creating a link between the gas and electricity sectors so that they work together still more closely.In contrast to electricity, gas can be stored securely and transported over very large distances without losses, out of sight, in a well-established underground transmission network.
Gas already has a broad range of applications, underpinning safe, efficient and sustainable energy supplies. It is used to generate electricity and heat, and in transportation as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
RAG will continue to make a major contribution to Austrian energy supplies and storage, as it has throughout its history, and to fulfil its economic function. This includes observing strict safety standards, and implementing all our projects in close consultation with landowners, residents, public authorities, customers and employees. Our mission is to use the natural resources entrusted to us carefully and responsibly, to the maximum benefit of society.
“RAG’s success story is based on constant technological innovation, a continuing high level of expertise, and its stable shareholders of energy supply utilities.”