UGS facilities do not guarantee EU reliable passage of autumn and winter, operators say

MOSCOW, Sep 2 — PRIME. Europe, despite high gas prices in the forward market and the suspension of Nord Stream, continues to fill underground gas storage facilities, having reached the target level of 80% two months earlier, but such an airbag does not guarantee a reliable passage of the autumn-winter season. This is evidenced by the data of the European Gas Infrastructure Operators Association (GIE).

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It is noted that on the gas day of August 31 (ended at 7.00 Moscow time on September 1), the European “underground” contains almost 87 billion cubic meters of gas. Their total occupancy exceeds 80%. In total, more than 100 billion cubic meters of gas can be pumped into European storage facilities, but this is only about 20% of the consumption of “blue fuel” in the region.

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Even close to the maximum reserves in UGS facilities in large European countries do not guarantee a reliable passage of the upcoming autumn-winter period, Gazprom noted the day before.

For example, in Germany in the last autumn-winter period (from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022), gas consumption amounted to 57 billion cubic meters, that is, an average of 9.5 billion cubic meters per month, the company noted. The current filling level of underground storage facilities in Germany is 84%, the volume of active gas is 18.3 billion cubic meters. Thus, the volume of gas reserves in Germany’s storage facilities is currently comparable to the average consumption during the cold season for only two months out of six, Gazprom calculated.

At the same time, gas supplies from Russia remain limited. Export via Nord Stream was stopped on August 31 due to a three-day scheduled maintenance at the only operating gas compressor unit (GCU) of the Portovaya compressor station (CS). However, the transit of gas through Ukraine after the stop of the Nord Stream has not changed.

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