EU Council adopts new minimum gas storage rules by 80% by November 2022

The European Council has officially approved new rules on the minimum occupancy of underground storage facilities in Europe - at a level not lower than 80% by November 1, 2022. This is stated on the official website of the Council.

The Council said June 27 it had definitively adopted the regulation, which aims to ensure that gas storage sites in the EU are filled before the winter season and that stocks can be shared between member states "in a spirit of solidarity."

The regulation will be published shortly in the EU's Official Journal and will enter into force on the day after its publication. The Council's approval follows sign-off by the European Parliament on June 23.

"Having concluded negotiations in less than two months, the EU now has a tool which requires all member states to have adequate gas storage for the winter period and which makes it easier for countries to share," Agnes Pannier-Runacher, France's energy transition minister, said.

The new regulation provides that gas storage sites must be filled to at least 90% by Nov. 1 in subsequent years.

The regulation also provides for compulsory certification of all underground gas storage site operators. "The aim of this certification is to avoid the potential risks of external influence on critical storage infrastructures, which could jeopardize the security of the EU's energy supply," the Council said.

Storage capacity filling obligations will come to an end on Dec. 31, 2025, but stock operator certification obligations will continue to apply beyond that date, the Council said.

16:09 / 27 June 2022

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