Brussels, 19 May 2022 (TDI): The EU Council and Parliament provisionally agreed on new rules for gas storage so as to improve the EU’s energy independence.

Due to the provisional agreement, EU member states will fill capacities before winter, and share capacities in the spirit of solidarity. All in all, it will improve the EU’s energy independence as well as the security of supply.

Gas Storage

In relation to the Ukraine war, the legislation on gas storage is an important step to improve the EU’s security. It ensures that they can be shared among its members. Also, the co-legislators reached an agreement during the inter-institutional negotiations.

That is, member states’ territory underground gas storage should be filled to about 80% of their capacity before 2022/2023 winter and up to 90% ahead of the following winter periods.

Furthermore, the Union will collectively try to fill 85% of the underground gas storage capacity in 2022. The obligation of filling is limited to a volume of 35% of the annual gas consumption of member states for the previous five years.

Thereby, it will avoid a disproportionate impact on some member states with significant storage capacity. The provisional agreement also specified that members are able to partially meet the 90% target by counting stocks of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or other fuels stored at the facilities.

For the member states lacking storage facilities on their territory, the co-legislators reached an agreement that they will gain access to gas storage reserves in other member states.

In sharing the financial burden of filling obligations, the states without underground storage facilities will utilize storage capacity that corresponds to 15% of their annual gas consumption over the previous five years.

Comparatively, member states may also arrange the establishment of another way for the burden-sharing mechanism. In addition, the ‘filling trajectory’ system will allow continuous monitoring throughout the filling season.

Above all, both the Council and the Parliament agreed on compulsory certification of all storage system operators. Hence, it will avoid the potential risks of external influence on critical storage infrastructures.

For example, that could threaten the security of the energy supply & crucial security interests. In conclusion, the co-legislators concurred that the filling obligations will be expiring on 31 December 2025 but certification obligations will proceed beyond that date.

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