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Germany can refill gas storage before next winter – lobby

10 Jan 2023 14:48



10 Jan 2023 14:48

(Montel) Germany should have enough gas to refill its storage facilities before next winter, even if LNG imports weaken and the remaining Russian gas shipments end, said the storage lobby Ines on Tuesday.

The country’s gas storage units looked set to be restocked throughout this year, the German gas storage operators’ association said in a report released today.

The mild winter temperatures had eased demand, it said, while falling gas prices allowed supplies to be restocked. The last report from Gas Infrastructure Europe put German storage units at 91.2% full.

Weather would remain key to how quickly storage units were depleted, Ines said. If a cold snap combined with a Russian supply cut-off and weakened LNG imports, tanks could be empty by the end of March.

However, if temperatures stayed close to average, Ines forecast storage levels to remain at 65% capacity by the end of March.

Demand destruction required
Regardless of which scenario occurred, the group said Germany should be able to refill units. Even the worst-case scenario models foresaw full storage by October but this would rely on the continuation of dampened consumption, it said.

The scenarios all assumed that any Russian gas reaching Europe would only come via Lithuania, Turkey or Ukraine. They also assumed that the EU would have access to large amounts of LNG, with import volumes averaging 76% of total capacity, or 7,250 GWh daily.

As the supply situation worsened last year after Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany’s gas hub operator Trading Hub Europe (THE) took over the filling of major gas storage units to ensure supply security.

Ines recommended Germany change last year’s emergency policy and let market participants play a bigger role in refilling storage this year.

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