Higher Occupancy Levels in EU Natural Gas Storage Facilities

The European Union has seen a significant increase in the occupancy levels of its common natural gas storage facilities

by Faruk Imamovic
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Higher Occupancy Levels in EU Natural Gas Storage Facilities

The European Union has seen a significant increase in the occupancy levels of its common natural gas storage facilities. According to a statement released by the European Commission, the occupancy level in December was 13% higher than the average for the period 2016-2018.

This is a notable development, especially considering that Russia has been attempting to disrupt the supply of natural gas to the EU during the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. Despite these efforts, the storage facilities in the EU are currently at around 84% capacity, as reported by Beta agency citing AP.

Decrease in Gas Consumption

According to the European Commission, natural gas storage facilities in the European Union were at an occupancy level of 13% higher than the average for the period 2016-2018 in December. This comes as member states of the Union have been stockpiling gas in fear of shortages during the winter.

As a result, the level of joint gas reserves rose to 82% by September, surpassing the target of having storage facilities at 80% capacity by November. The rise in gas prices from August to November may have also contributed to the drop in consumption of gas by 20 percent.

The European Union has been seeking new sources of natural gas as tensions with Russia continue to escalate. In response to sanctions imposed by the EU following the attack on Ukraine, Russia has significantly reduced gas supplies to EU countries.

Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, Europe obtained 40% of its total gas supply from Russia, but that number has now dropped to only about 9%. This has left the EU looking for alternative sources of energy to ensure a stable and reliable supply.

In an effort to diversify its resources and find more reliable suppliers, the EU has welcomed the first regular shipment of liquefied natural gas from the United States. This shipment arrived in Germany on Tuesday, marking a significant step towards reducing the EU's dependence on Russia for its energy needs.

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