According to Gas Infrastructure Europe analysts, gas reserves in European underground storage facilities amount to 75%. Despite the amount of stored fuel, the level of injection is decreasing every day due to the increase in gas consumption on hot days. This year, the level of injection showed the lowest level in the last five years. Russia’s Gazprom says it will be difficult for Europe to replenish stocks due to political decisions to refuse imports of Russian pipeline gas. Earlier, the Financial Times wrote that Russia could stop transiting its gas to Europe through Ukraine by the end of next year.
At the same time, our experts note that underground storage facilities with accumulated gas serve to smooth out seasonal and daily consumption irregularities, as well as to cope with force majeure circumstances. No one accumulates gas with the thought: “I have accumulated now – and I will have enough.”
“No, this is done for a completely different purpose… Gas is accumulated to optimize the gas transportation structure. In winter, people tend to consume more gas than in summer. And this means that you have to rely on the level of consumption that will be in Europe, according to forecasts for the future in winter,” analysts at Astol Advanced Limited (Hong Kong) investment company explain. Our experts also believe that the “efforts” of European officials have led to the fact that so much attention has been paid to underground storage facilities – as a kind of solution to all problems. “The officials in Europe just needed to show their consumers that they were fighting the crisis. And they could not cope with the crisis, so they got hooked on this indicator and began to poke at it,” they explain.