LEAK: EU to mandate 90% gas storage refill for next winter

(EurActiv, 22 Mar 2022) The European Commission will table proposals on Wednesday (23 March) obliging EU countries to fill up their gas stores at least 90% before the next winter season and introduce a new certification scheme to prevent manipulation of gas storage by foreign operators.

The proposal will be tabled before a two-day EU summit this week (24-25 March), where EU leaders will debate energy security amid gas supply tensions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“The current geopolitical situation requires additional short term measures to deal with the market imbalances for energy and for securing supplies in the years ahead,” says the draft regulation on security of supply (SoS regulation), which was last amended in 2017.

“The proposed 90% filling rate is a necessary and appropriate level in order to ensure security of supply over the winter in case of serious supply disruptions,” the draft regulation says.

Gas prices on European markets have increased sharply since the Autumn, driven by a supply squeeze of pipeline gas coming from Russia, and insufficient storage levels during the summer months, which was 10 per cent below other years, the Commission said.

Storage supplies 25-30% of gas consumed in winter and provides a buffer in case of supply disruptions, the Commission notes.

“As supply disruptions of pipeline gas may occur anytime, measures introducing an insurance policy regarding the filling level of EU storage facilities are introduced. Well-filled gas storage contributes to more secure gas supplies for the winter 2022/2023,” it says.

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EurActiv, 22 Mar 2022: LEAK: EU to mandate 90% gas storage refill for next winter