MOSCOW, 12 Oct — PRIME. The level of occupancy of underground gas storage facilities (UGS) in the European Union by the end of October at the current injection rate can reach 95-96%, Sergey Kolobanov, deputy head of the Economics of Fuel and Energy Sectors department of the Center for Strategic Research, calculated for RIA Novosti.
“The historical maximum level of filling in the EU in total was reached on October 27-28, 2019 and amounted to 97.84%. If the weather is favorable this year, at the current injection and withdrawal rates, 95-96% can be reached by the end of October,” — Kolobanov noted.
However, this value is unevenly distributed – from 54% in Latvia to 100% in Belgium and Portugal. At the same time, the largest reserves in absolute terms are now accumulated in Germany – about 22 billion cubic meters, Italy – 17 billion, France and the Netherlands – 12 billion cubic meters each, the analyst said.
The heating season in countries and their individual regions does not begin at once: somewhere it has already started, somewhere according to the plan they are going to turn on heating on October 15 or November 1, and somewhere it is a floating date depending on the weather – they are waiting for For several days, the average daily temperature will remain below a certain level, Kolobanov added.
However, this year, the leadership of the EU countries, as the expert noted, is actively calling for saving resources, lowering the requirements for the minimum temperature in the premises, so the timing of the start of active use of gas from UGS facilities may be shifted, and the rate of its withdrawal may decrease compared to previous years.
At the same time, it should be taken into account that in past years, even in the coldest winter months, extraction from underground storage facilities provided no more than 40% of the consumption in the European Union. Therefore, in the event of a decrease in the planned gas supplies to the European Union from other countries in the next 3-4 months, gas offtake from underground storage facilities may increase compared to historical values, and the gas storage capacity close to 100% does not at all guarantee a successful autumn-winter period, concluded expert.