One of the most serious problems in planning of the development of large and old gas-supplying systems consists in optimal choice between several projects, when many technological, economical and other aspects are to be considered. The report presents a new methodology of multicriterial estimation and comparison of such projects which was applied to one of regional gas-supplying systems in Russia.
The Russian system of production, transportation, storage and distribution of natural gas - Unified gas-supply system (UGSS) - has been created over past few decades on territory of the former USSR. The UGSS is unique in its dimensions, capacity of power streams, in complexity and variety of the equipment used. Being one of the largest technological structures created by mankind, UGSS requires the special approaches and methods for solving the problems of how to govern this organizational and technological system. The system is continuously modifying under the influence of interior reasons and exterior conditions, the problems of control are varying too.
In the present day the UGSS (except the gas distribution grids) has become property of Russian joint-stock company GAZPROM, which is now in a stage of intensive transformations. The depression in national economy of Russia has the direct effect on GAZPROM's activity. The gas fuel constitutes almost 42% in the fuel balance of Russia. The tariffs for gas make great impact on costs of industrial production, on municipal payments and hence on the general conditions in economy and on living standards of the population. The incomes from gas export constitute one of the major components of state budget.
The immediate consequence of it is that the principal technological solutions defining the development of UGSS cannot be only interior affair of GAZPROM. For elaborating and adopting these solutions it must be used not only economical criteria but also social, political, geopolitical and ecological ones. There is a lot of reasons for the approaches usually applied to have limited significance in the conditions that take place nowadays in Russia, whenever the large-scale projects are to be compared. The economic changes in the country are difficult to be predicted not only for remote future, but even for 2–3 years. The situation is complicated by the following circumstances:
the legislative base of business is not adequate to needs of the gas market,
the taxes change uninterruptedly,
the political instability due to deterioration of living standards takes place in many regions of Russia,
the state has lost the control on monopolies,
the major part of population are psychologically unready to admit the reforms,
numerous negative social phenomena have taken place during the last decade.
In these conditions it is not excluded that the large-scale programs will be accepted in accordance with subjective preferences of one person or of a little group of persons. However there exists an other method that permits to take into account the judgments of a circle of experts. The collective examination is especially justified in Russia by the good level of higher oil- and gas education. For 50-years development of the gas industry there were trained the well-experienced personnel: engineers, managers, researchers.