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Eu Clinches Deal On Mandatory Gas Storage For Next Winter

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European Union negotiators 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.

Read-out of the College meeting/press conference by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Simson on more affordable, secure and sustainable energy in the EU. [Abdesslam Mirdass / EC Audiovisual Service]

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.

“What is at stake here is securing gas supplies for next winter for all Europeans – citizens, protected customers, SMEs, and energy-intensive industries,” said Jerzy Buzek, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator on the law.

“This is another unprecedented achievement considering the tight schedule, due to the Russian war in Ukraine,” he added. “We are putting in place a mechanism which will ensure that gas storages in the EU are no longer controlled by those who fuel speculative price rises and supply crises.”

Source: euractiv.com

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