EU clinches deal on mandatory gas storage for next winter

(EurActiv, 19 May 2022) European Union negotiators on Thursday (19 May) agreed on mandatory gas storage obligations for EU countries, aiming for the the bloc’s storages to be at least 85% full by 1 November 2022.

The agreement, which aims for storage to be shared between EU countries “in a spirit of solidarity”, follows a winter of concern about low EU gas storage, high energy prices and disruptions in the supply of Russian gas.

“This proposal is key to ensure preparedness for next winter. The EU can deliver at speed and is united,” the EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, wrote on Twitter.

The regulation was tabled on 23 March and fast-tracked through the normally lengthy legislative procedure by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. While negotiators failed to come to an agreement after a 16-hour meeting on Monday, they finally reached a deal at around 09:40 CET on Thursday after just over an hour of talks.

Having high levels of gas storage ahead of next winter is considered crucial in the event of a disruption of gas supplies coming from Russia. This could cause a price shock on European gas markets that would hurt European households and businesses.

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EurActiv, 19 May 2022: EU clinches deal on mandatory gas storage for next winter