At 6 a.m. on February 1, German natural gas storage facilities were 78.6 percent full. This is the result of preliminary data from the European gas storage association GIE. This means that the natural gas storage facilities were almost twice as full as required by the German Energy Industry Act. Paragraph 35b contains a filling level specification of at least 40 percent.
“We have far exceeded the statutory filling level target. This is a great joint achievement by everyone who uses gas sparingly,” said Federal Network Agency President Klaus Müller of the dpa. A gas shortage this winter has become unlikely. “But we now have the task of refilling the storage tanks in the summer for the next winter without Russian pipeline gas.” The new terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) would help here. “It is still important that we use gas sparingly.”
In the third calendar week, gas consumption in Germany was 9.4 percent below the average consumption for the years 2018 to 2021. Compared to the previous week, it increased by 34.9 percent, the Federal Network Agency announced on Wednesday. Temperatures were 2.5°C colder than in previous years. According to the Federal Network Agency, the deflagration reported on Tuesday at the Rehden storage facility has no impact on the secure gas supply in Germany.
Storage levels have been falling since January 9th
The fill levels in Germany have been falling overall since January 9, 2023. Before that, data had been stored for more than two weeks, which is unusual for the time of year. Across the EU, the filling level was 72.1 percent on Wednesday morning, 0.5 percentage points less than the previous day.
The storage facilities compensate for fluctuations in gas consumption and thus form a buffer system for the market. The filling levels usually decrease after the start of the heating period in autumn. On the morning of November 14, a fill level of 100 percent was recorded. Gas continues to flow through pipeline imports to Germany, on Tuesday from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to the Federal Network Agency. Germany now also receives natural gas via LNG terminals on German coasts.
The requirements for German gas storage facilities have been in effect since the end of April 2022. At that time, changes to the Energy Industry Act came into force. According to them, the storage operators had to maintain a filling level of 80 percent by October 1st and 90 percent by November 1st.
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