Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news EU reaches deal on plans to restock gas reserves

EU reaches deal on plans to restock gas reserves

24 May 2022, 22:13 CET
— filed under: , , ,
EU reaches deal on plans to restock gas reserves

Gas - Photo Naftogaz of Ukraine

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Parliament and Member States reached agreement Thursday on a regulation to set mandatory minimum level of gas in storage facilities to ensure security of energy supply across the EU each winter.

The draft legislation, against the backdrop of Russia's war against Ukraine, aims to refill Europe’s strategic gas reserves more quickly, so that households and businesses have enough gas for the next heating season.

The co-legislators agreed during inter-institutional negotiations that underground gas storage on member states’ territory should be filled to at least 80% of their capacity before the winter of 2022/2023 and to 90% before the following winter periods. The Union will attempt collectively to fill 85% of the underground gas storage capacity in 2022. The filling obligation will be limited to a volume of 35% of the annual gas consumption of member states over the past five years, in order to avoid a disproportionate impact on certain member states with significant storage capacity.

The provisional agreement also stipulates that member states could partially meet the 90% target by counting stocks of liquefied natural gas (LNG) or alternative fuels stored at the facilities.

As not all Member States have storage facilities on their territory, the co-legislators agreed that member states without storage facilities would have access to gas storage reserves in other member states. In order to share the financial burden of filling obligations, Member States without underground storage facilities will use storage capacity corresponding to 15% of their annual gas consumption over the past five years. As an alternative, states may organise the establishment of an alternative burden-sharing mechanism.

The co-legislators decided on a ‘filling trajectory’ system, which will allow continuous monitoring throughout the filling season. In 2022, the trajectories will be set in the regulation with a margin of flexibility of 5%. From 2023 onwards, the trajectories will be proposed by the member states and established by implementing acts adopted by the Commission.

The Council and the Parliament also agreed on compulsory certification of all storage system operators in order to avoid the potential risks of external influence on critical storage infrastructures, which could jeopardise the security of the energy supply and other essential security interests. The certification will prioritise larger storage facilities and storage facilities, which have recently been filled to consistently low levels. Member states will have 150 days after the entry into force of the regulation to certify the prioritised facilities and 18 months to certify the other facilities. Uncertified operators will be required to relinquish ownership or control of storage facilities.

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council is now subject to formal approval by the two co-legislators.

Commission proposal for a regulation on gas storage

Energy prices and security of supply (background information)

Document Actions