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EC wants gas storage 90% full by 1 October each year


08 Mar 2022 17:12


08 Mar 2022 17:12

(Montel) The European Commission wants EU gas storage to be at least 90% full ahead of the winter heating season each year and will make legal proposals on this by April, it said on Tuesday.

The measure is part of the EC’s efforts to prepare for potential supply disruptions as relations with its largest external gas supplier, Russia, deteriorate given the war in Ukraine.

The EC also planned to designate gas storage as critical infrastructure and introduce provisions requiring regulators to certify that any non-EU companies controlling such infrastructure are not a risk to EU supply security.

Russia’s state-owned gas exporter Gazprom owns several European underground gas storage sites, including in Germany, the EU’s biggest gas market.

This security risk assessment would have to be done for all existing and future storage operators, said the EC.

It urged national governments to act as if this planned draft legislation was already in force and ensure that their storage is filled before next winter.

The EC said it was ready to help coordinate refilling operations, such as through joint procurement, collecting orders and matching supplies.

A joint European platform for contracting gas supply based on bilateral negotiations with major gas producers would help the EU diversify its sources, manage risks and ensure secure supplies with favourable conditions for all EU buyers, it said.

The EC had proposed allowing national governments to coordinate buying gas for strategic reserves in its December proposal to update the EU’s gas supply security rules.

The EU developed these rules after the Russian gas supply crisis in 2009.

The EC's proposals have to be debated and agreed by the European Parliament and the EU Council of ministers before they can become binding.

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