EU finds way to save gas in underground storage facilities amid Moscow’s energy blackmail

14 November 2022, 06:33 PM
Europeans have figured out how to save gas in underground storage (

Europeans have figured out how to save gas in underground storage (

European gas companies this fall are primarily trying to take gas supplies straight from liquefied natural gas receiving terminals, and not draw fuel from underground storage facilities, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on Nov. 14.

This largely explains the postponement of the start of the season of gas withdrawal from underground storage facilities, Interfax-Ukraine says.

According to the current weather forecasts, winter temperatures should come to Europe in the middle of the week, and by the weekend (Nov. 19-20) an even more serious drop in temperature is expected – to the level of multi-year lows.

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The forecast for coming temperatures can change several times a day. However, with regard to the predicted cold snap, it has only changed downward so far.

December gas futures on the TTF hub on Nov. 14 rose to $1,130 per thousand cubic meters from $1,035 at the close of trading on Nov. 11.

During the long pre-winter season, Europe has road-tested a new model of gas balance management – when air temperatures drop, LNG reserves in receiving tanks are consumed first, rather than gas in underground storage facilities.

However, the practice of European terminals has already found a certain "glass ceiling" with regard to their capacity. While the maximum level of their use in history was 77%, last week it reached 74%.

Since the beginning of November, the use of regasification capacities stands at 67%, while the average for October was 60%.

Europe is about to start the net withdrawal of gas reserves formed ahead of the winter. The current state of reserves can no longer be called injection in the literal sense of the word (the increase over the last weekdays was measured in tenths of a percentage point).

The beginning of the gas withdrawal season in 2022 will be the latest in the history of observations (since 2011). The previous record was set in 2013 (when reserves began to decline on Nov. 4).

The level of reserves currently stands at 95.51% – this is more than 102 billion cubic meters of active gas. The increase for the last reporting day (Nov. 12) was 0.08 percentage points. At the same time, net withdrawals for the gas day were shown on Nov. 12 by Italy and the Netherlands.

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