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.