EU: Council of Ministers adopts regulation on gas storage

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The EU Council of Ministers said ‘yes’ to a regulation aimed at ensuring that storage capacity natural gas in Europe are met before winter and can be shared between Member States in a spirit of solidarity, despite the turmoil in the gas market.

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The regulation, as broadcast by the Athens News Agency, provides that underground storage of natural gas in the territory of the Member States must reach at least 80% of its capacity before the winter of 2022-2023 and at 90% before the following winter seasons. Overall, the EU will collectively try to cover 85% of the total underground gas storage capacity in the EU in 2022.

It is noted that some Member States do not have storage facilities in their territory and so the regulation stipulates that they should store 15% of the annual domestic gas consumption in reserves located in other Member States and thus have access to gas reserves that are stored in other Member States. This mechanism will enhance the security of their gas supply, while at the same time sharing the financial burden of filling the EU’s storage capacity.

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The Regulation also provides for the mandatory certification of all underground gas storage operators by the authorities of the Member States concerned. The purpose of this certification is to avoid potential risks of external influence on critical storage infrastructure, which could jeopardize the security of the EU’s energy supply and other key security interests.

Obligations to fill storage capacity will expire on December 31, 2025, but inventory certification obligations will continue to apply after that date.

The regulation also provides for a derogation in Cyprus, Malta and Ireland if they are not directly connected to the gas system of other Member States.

Source: News Beast

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