Natural gas storage facilities in Germany are 75.43% full, the German gas infrastructure operator announced on Aug. 13.
EU Commission guidelines suggested EU gas storages should be 75% full by Sep. 1.
According to the announcement – as reported by German broadcaster DW – the commission’s recommendations were exceeded thanks to a reduction in German gas consumption and increased imports from north-western Europe.
The plan calls for German gas storages to be 95% full by Nov. 1, building a buffer against Russia potentially cutting gas supplies to Europe ahead of the winter season.
Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom has already reduced the throughput of Nord Stream-1 pipeline to 20% of its nominal capacity, and is in breach of existing gas supply contracts. These steps have left Russia’s reputation as a trustworthy business partner in tatters.
However, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is clearly still hoping to use energy blackmail to coerce the EU into renouncing its support for Ukraine.
Besides building up EU gas reserves, the commission has recommended EU member states reduce their gas consumption by at least 15%. If successful, the plan would make the bloc resilient to further Russian energy blackmail.