German gas storage more than 90% full despite Russian supply cuts
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s natural gas storage facilities are now more than 90% full ahead of the winter heating season and growing steadily despite Russia halting deliveries through a major gas pipeline, officials said. announced the authorities.
National Grid Regulator Chief Klaus Mueller tweeted late Monday that gas storage has “taken another step” and stored gas will help manage any potential gas emergency and return to market.
He warned that “nevertheless, we must continue to save gas”. The fuel heats homes, powers factories and generates electricity.
The government tightened storage requirements in July after Russia’s state-owned Gazprom began cutting supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, contributing to soaring gas prices.
Germany introduced a requirement for storage to be 75% full by September 1 and raised targets for October and November to 85% and 95%, respectively, from 80% and 90%. The November target is roughly equal to the amount of gas Germany used in January and February of this year, when temperatures were relatively mild.
Russia has not delivered gas via Nord Stream 1 since late August as tensions rise over the war in Ukraine. The country began cutting gas supplies through the pipeline in mid-June, citing alleged technical problems. German officials dismissed this explanation as a cover for a political decision to drive up prices and create uncertainty.
Before the cuts began, Russia accounted for just over a third of Germany’s gas supplies.
The cuts forced the government to put in place a bailout for major gas importer Uniper, which had to buy gas at much higher market prices to fulfill its supply contracts. Last week, the company said it was exploring the possibility of the government taking a majority stake as its losses mount.
The outcome of those talks remains uncertain, as does the future of a new natural gas tax to help energy importers that the government announced with the initial bailout.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was well placed to get through the winter with enough energy, pointing among other things to new liquefied natural gas terminals that should start operating in the coming months.
The Associated Press