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EU natural gas storage capacities, 90% full

18 August 2023

Natural gas storage capacities in the EU are already 90% full, well ahead of the deadline set to reach this level – November 1 – the European Commission announced on Friday, as Reuters and Bloomberg report.

On August 16, the level reached 1,024 TWh, or 90.12% of storage capacity, equivalent to more than 93 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas.

In 2022, the European Union invested significantly in liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and adopted regulations to increase storage capacities to avoid supply shortages following cuts in Russian gas imports following the invasion of Ukraine. Among these regulations is the establishment of a mandatory objective at the EU level of filling storage facilities to 90% by November 1, every year, according to Agerpres.

Last year, Europe imported 62 billion cubic meters of Russian gas through pipelines, a level 60% lower than the average of the previous five years, European Commission data show.

This year, deliveries from Russia to the EU would fall to 25 bcm, assuming flows through the TurkStream pipeline and through Ukraine are in line with December 2022 volumes, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast.

“The energy market in the EU is in a much more stable situation than it was in August 2022. Investments in renewables and in energy efficiency can further strengthen the position of the EU bloc,” said the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.

On Friday, at the TTF gas hub in Amsterdam, where reference prices are set in Europe, natural gas futures quotes for delivery in the next month were increasing by 4.3%, up to 38.41 euros for a Megawatt -hour, due to supply concerns.

The level of gases in storage facilities varies by country. Countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Spain have already exceeded the EU target, while in France the level is around 84%, after energy supplies were disrupted by nationwide strikes.

Although gas prices in Europe are approximately 90% lower than at the peak of the crisis in 2022, market jitters and intense volatility will continue, analysts say.

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