DEPA Commercial gas storage in Italy, Bulgaria, 200,000 MWh

DEPA Commercial has stored away, at facilities in neighboring Bulgaria and Italy, natural gas quantities for a total of 200,000 MWh, slightly less than one third of the 622,440 MWh the company is expected to store through a Preventive Action Plan established by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

DEPA Commercial began its effort by storing natural gas at Bulgaria’s Chiren facility and, over the past 15 days or so, has also been storing away gas quantities in Italy.

DEPA Commercial, like all main gas suppliers licensed to use the country’s gas network, is expected to make these gas reserves available for all of the upcoming winter period, or, more specifically, from November to March.

These gas reserve amounts stocked up through the Preventive Action Plan are planned to play a protective role should Moscow make changes to deliveries of pipeline gas quantities.

Gas suppliers whose imports represent no more than 1 percent of the country’s total gas imports have been exempted from RAE’s gas storage requirement.

DEPA Commercial is Greece’s biggest gas importer, requiring the company to establish gas reserves for 622,440 MWh. The top three include Mytilineos, which must store away gas for 267,900 MWh and Promitheas Gas with 137,940 MWh.

 

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.

 

RAE approves energy crisis plans for winter sufficiency

The board at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved preventive action and risk preparedness plans for the country’s electricity sector, two tools shaped in response to soaring gas and electricity prices, breaking records, in the energy crisis.

Though it is generally hoped they will be needless, the two tools could prove useful during what is expected to be a challenging winter throughout Europe, including Greece.

The preventive action plan was approved by RAE following certain revisions to the initial plan, concerning gas reserve requirements.

According to the plan, a new floating storage unit installed in June at the LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, will maintain 0.57 TWH in strategic reserves for electricity production, while 1.14 TWh in gas supplier reserves will be stored at an Italian storage facility.

However, the plan is non-binding as these gas reserves may also be stored at other facilities if preferred by players, who are required to maintain strategic gas reserves.

 

Italian gas storage up to 2 TWh from October for 5 months

Greek authorities are taking steps to prepare for a gas-storage solution ahead of next winter in neighboring Italy, in accordance with EU rules, requiring all member states without – or without sufficient – natural gas storage facilities, such as Greece, to store, by November 1, gas quantities representing 15 percent of annual consumption, based on last year’s level, at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

Based on this requirement and the country’s consumption level last year, Greece will need to store a total of approximately 900 million cubic meters of gas, or 8 TWh, of which up to 2 TWh will be stored at Italian facilities from October for a five-month period.

Storage costs for such a quantity are expected to reach 250 million euros, under favorable conditions.

A related proposal forwarded by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will undergo consultation before final decisions on the country’s gas storage plan are made.

 

Lower-cost gas storage option for 15% of annual use sought

The energy ministry is seeking lower-cost solutions to satisfy a European Commission order requiring all EU member states without – or without sufficient – natural gas storage facilities, such as Greece, to store by November 1, gas quantities representing 15 percent of annual consumption at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

A 15 percent proportion of Greece’s annual gas consumption represents approximately 900 million cubic meters. Its supply cost, alone, is worth roughly 700 million euros, based on current prices.

Besides the cost concerns expressed by energy ministry officials over an idea to use Italian storage facilities, companies active in Greece’s wholesale gas market are also troubled.

The head official of one domestic gas wholesaler described the cost of moving ahead with the Italian plan as forbiddingly high, adding that it would be far more preferable to rent as many additional floating storage units as are needed for mooring at Greece’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

EU states without gas storage must use facilities of fellow members

EU member states without natural gas storage facilities, such as Greece, will be required to store gas quantities representing 15 percent of annual consumption at existing gas storage facilities maintained by fellow member states by November 1, the European Commission has just announced.

In the lead-up, Brussels had issued an order requiring all EU member states with gas storage facilities to fill these at 90 percent of full capacity by November 1, in preparation for next winter. The EU is now taking steps to drastically reduce its reliance on Russian gas.

Governments in respective member states are responsible for the achievement of this objective and can impose fines and sanctions, according to the announcement.

The European Commission has notified it will conduct inspections to determine whether intermediate storage-capacity goals have been achieved. Warnings will be issued if discrepancies are found to be over two percent, followed by related talks with the respective member states. Lack of action a month after these talks have taken place will result in decisions from the European Commission, which the member states in question will need to adopt.