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Gas supply

Question écrite de M. Markus BUCHHEIT - Commission européenne

Question de M. Markus BUCHHEIT,

Diffusée le 23 février 2022

Subject: Gas supply

Amid the current gas supply crisis and price explosion, it has come to light that gas storage facilities in the EU – which under the common energy policy are supposed to cover household and industrial needs in the event of an emergency and are mostly owned by Gazprom and its subsidiaries – are only between one-sixth and one-quarter full because Gazprom didn’t fill them up this summer.

1. Why has the Commission failed so spectacularly to keep track of energy security?

2. Will it at least now introduce an effective EU-wide monitoring and implementing mechanism for gas storage facilities?

3. Does it not consider it appropriate to increase state ownership of gas storage facilities given that they are indispensable to the energy security infrastructure?

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 28 avril 2022

Answer given by Ms Simson on behalf of the European Commission

(29 April 2022)

Since 2014, the EU has improved its security of gas supply by reinforcing the existing mechanisms and proposing measures for the protection of strategic energy infrastructures (1).

In October 2021, the Commission updated the regional risk groups set under the Security of Gas Supply Regulation and set up an internal task force to monitor and coordinate gas storage capacities levels and refilling.

In the Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Markets Package (2) of December 2021, the Commission proposed measures for a more effective functioning of gas storage (3).

This has been complemented on 8 March 2022 with a legislative proposal on gas storage to ensure a minimum level of filling by the start of the next heating season, requiring Member States to ensure that their underground gas storage is filled up to at least 80% of capacity by 1 November 2022, rising to 90% for the following years, with intermediary targets from February to October (4).

In addition, the new legislative proposal designate gas storage facilities as critical infrastructure to ensure security of supply. A new mandatory certification of all storage system operators will be required to avoid potential risks to the EU’s security of supply (5).

⋅1∙ The European Energy Security Strategy Communication adopted on May 2014 provided for the adoption of measures aimed at developing risk assessments (stress tests)

and security of supply plans at regional and EU levels. It also allowed the adoption of the revised Regulation (EU) 2017/1938 to ensure a regionally coordinated and common approach when choosing the security of supply measures among EU Member States, ⋅2∙ ⋅3∙ This includes inter alia a requirement for Member States to make storages part of their security of supply risks assessments and coordinate at regional level. ⋅4∙ Operators of storage sites should report the filling levels to national authorities. Member States should monitor the filling levels on a monthly basis and report to the


⋅5∙ Non-certified operators will have to give up ownership or control of EU gas storage facilities.

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