Full gas storage not enough for EU to last through winter – Reuters

Analysts say the region will run out of gas by March if they don’t cut down on consumption

Fully-stocked gas storage facilities may not be sufficient to sustain EU countries during the upcoming heating season, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing analysts. 

According to Aurora Energy Research’s calculations, the bloc’s storage can only provide enough gas for up to 90 days of average demand. Modeling by data intelligence firm ICIS also shows that the region’s reserves may run dry by March. Analysts therefore agree that gas consumption should be slashed in order to avoid shortages.

To cope with this crisis situation, demand reduction will be even more important than storage,” Simone Tagliapietra, a senior fellow at the Bruegel think-tank, was cited as saying.

ICIS data shows that, if consumption is reduced 15% below the five-year average each month, the bloc may still have 45% of gas reserves left come spring if Russia continues supplying gas to the region at its current volumes, and 26% if Russia stops deliveries in October.

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Moreover, the EU’s failure to save gas this winter would affect next year’s storage levels. According to the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, if Russia cuts gas flows and EU depletes its storages during the upcoming heating season, next year’s storages will be emptied as early as November, before the heating season is even in full swing.

The storage is the safety net, but a very significant demand reduction is what we need as a priority in this crisis,” Matthias Buck, Europe director for Agora Energiewende, told the news outlet.

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