European gas storage units 80% full, sufficiency still not assured

Europe’s natural gas storage facilities have been filled to 80 percent of their capacity, on average, well ahead of an early-October target that had been set by EU authorities as an energy crisis emergency plan.

Given the intense competition anticipated for LNG cargoes in the international market, as well as Asia’s strengthened markets, securing sufficient reserves is important but not a guarantee that Europe will make it through the winter unscathed.

German estimates project that European gas reserves at 80 percent of storage capacity, as an EU average, would last for approximately two months if Russia were to fully disrupt its supply to Europe. The winter’s level of harshness will greatly shape consumption levels and, by extension, consequences.

European gas reserves are likely to reach 90 percent of storage capacity over the next month.

At this stage, the challenge for the EU is to continue securing gas loads. This would minimize the use of gas kept in storage and maintain high storage levels all the way through winter for a bolstered position looking further ahead.