MOSCOW, 6 Oct — PRIME. Latvia will not have time to fill its storage with gas by 80% by November 1, as required this year by the new EU rules, follows from the data of the Association of Gas Infrastructure Operators of Europe (Gas Infrastructure Europe, GIE).
As of the end of the gas day on October 4 (ended at 07:00 Moscow time on October 5), its UGS facilities are 53% full. At the same time, while maintaining the average injection rate for October (0.115 percentage points per day), by the end of the month it will be filled only by 56.1%. Now it has only about 1.14 billion cubic meters.
In general, European UGSFs are filled to 89.85%, the increase for the reporting day was 0.21 percentage points. In total, they contain about 97.1 billion cubic meters.
According to EU rules, by November 1 this year, all countries must fill at least 80% of UGS facilities. Apart from Latvia, this figure has not yet been reached in Bulgaria (77.3%) and Hungary (74.51%). At the same time, only 18 countries out of 27 in the EU have underground gas storage capacities, and the capacity in them is uneven.
Gas storages usually provide only 25-30% of the gas consumed in Europe in the winter, the European Commission reported in the summer. Even close to the maximum reserves in UGS facilities in large EU countries do not guarantee a reliable passage of the autumn-winter period, Gazprom believes.
Traditionally, the heating season in Europe begins in mid-October, although last year it fully started only in November.