MOSCOW, 2 Oct — PRIME. Withdrawal from underground gas storages (UGS) in the European Union for the first time exceeded injection since the end of the heating season in the region (late March – early April), while 16 of the 18 states of the Union with storage facilities continue to pump, according to unspecified data from the Association of Gas Infrastructure Operators Europe (Gas Infrastructure Europe, GIE).
The data show that the figure turned negative due to the fact that UGS facilities in Belgium – one of the smallest in terms of volume in the EU – were emptied in a day.
As of the end of the gas day on September 30 (ended at 7:00 Moscow time on October 1), European UGSFs were 87.83% full. The download rate has continued to fall steadily since September 25 (0.32 p.p., 0.23 p.p., 0.2 p.p., 0.18 and 0.15 p.p. on the previous days). For comparison, the average injection rate in EU storage in September was 0.25 percentage points, while a month earlier the figure reached 0.37 percentage points.
Europe’s gas storage filling rates are declining for the sixth day, they dropped to 0.51 percentage points. per day – the minimum value for six months. This is due to the fact that the only storage facility in Belgium was emptied (−92.09 p.p.). But the data on the GIE is inconclusive and may change.
The total volume of UGS facilities in the EU is about 110 billion cubic meters, now they contain about 95.3 billion cubic meters of gas. The target storage occupancy level of 80%, which European countries planned to achieve by November 1, has been exceeded by 13 of the 18 EU countries that have UGS facilities. Of these, the threshold of 90% was crossed by Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden. The farthest from the target is Latvia, where the “subways” are filled by 52.54% (-0.09 p.p.).
Against the backdrop of limited supplies of Russian gas, the EU buys LNG, for which it competes with Asian consumers. In 2021, 75 million tons of LNG were delivered to European countries, and taking into account the current dynamics in 2022, the figure can grow by more than one and a half times – up to about 120 million tons, Ivan Timonin, a consultant at Vygon Consulting, noted to RIA Novosti.