German gas storage levels could reach 90% despite reduced Nord Stream flows – operators
Germany’s gas storage levels could reach 90 percent by 1 November, even under the scenario where flows from Russia through the crucial Nord Stream pipeline remain curbed, the association of gas storage system operators in Germany INES told news agency dpa. The calculations are based on the assumption that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports remain high and gas transport through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline continues at only 20 percent of its maximum capacity. If supply through the pipeline were to halt fully, the situation would have to be further assessed, said INES head Sebastian Bleschke. He said that even with storage levels above 90 percent, less gas than is usually needed would be available during winter if Nord Stream flows remain at today’s level. “The system will then only be balanced by a reduction in demand,” said Bleschke.
Gas storages are usually well filled ahead of the colder months. On cold winter days, up to 60 percent of gas consumption in Germany is covered by German storage facilities, said dpa. The government initially introduced a new law with ambitious minimum levels for gas storages by specific dates, then raised the targets even more with a decision from last week. Storages will have to be filled to a level of 75 percent by 1 September (85% by 1 October; 95% by 1 November). On 27 July, Germany’s gas storages were 66.8 percent filled, said the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). The agency said that should flows through Nord Stream continue at current low levels, a storage level of 95 percent by November “is hardly achievable without additional measures.”