The first November marked a significant milestone for Europe’s security of supply, with European gas storage nearly full. While the gas filling levels achieved in 2022 were already high, they have reached new records in 2023, close to full as heating season begins.
The European Union has accumulated record amounts of natural gas in its gas storage capacities and has done ahead of its own schedule.
The news was announced in August by the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, closely monitoring the filling of storage capacities as a key parameter of the resiliency of the energy system.
By mid-August, the storage capacities were full at 90 per cent, the November target (set in the gas regulation). As of 1 October, gas storage capacities were filled up to 96 per cent, exceeding the record of the winter of 2022. As of 1 November, gas storage in the EU is now close to 100 per cent full, reaching an all-time high.
“This success underscores our unwavering commitment to safeguarding Europe’s energy supply,” said Charlotte Roule, President of Gas Storage Europe (GSE). “Full underground gas storages help the European gas market to be more resilient than last year, entering the winter season in a state of greater preparedness.”
In an increasingly globalised European gas market, the role of gas storage takes an additional dimension in the security of supply by further enabling us to stabilise the European market but also regional markets outside Europe.
Nevertheless, some risks should not be underestimated as the market will likely be tight for several years before Europe can strengthen its position through investments in renewables and energy efficiency.