27 Jan 2022, 12:22
Jessica Bateman

Germany considers strategic gas reserve to prevent future supply crisis – media report

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Reuters

Germany’s new government is mulling the introduction of minimum gas storage levels, a strategic gas reserve, and other options to prevent future supply crises, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. "We will do anything to avoid a repetition of the current storage debacle," an unnamed government source told the paper. The government has commissioned analyses on the topic and plans to decide in the spring how to secure supply, according to the article, which adds the country’s gas storage facilities are currently only 40 percent full, far less than in previous years. A source in the economy and climate ministry told the paper it was becoming clearer that supply, storage and dependence on Russia pose "huge problems."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes a turn of direction appears to be being taken under new economy minister Robert Habeck. The previous government repeatedly stated Russia was fulfilling its contracts, and that the low levels were normal and sufficient. "We are monitoring the situation very closely. The security of supply is currently guaranteed, we currently have no signs of supply bottlenecks," a ministry spokesperson told the paper. "It is clear, however, that we have to improve the possibilities for next winter and strengthen our provisions here."

Gas storage levels across the European Union are significantly lower than usual, as a gas supply crunch on the continent, widely blamed on a dearth of gas flows from Russia, has caused energy prices to soar. The European Union could cope with a short term halt to all Russian gas imports but doing so would have "profound economic consequences" and require emergency measures to curb demand, according to analysis by the think tank Bruegel, reports Reuters. Tensions at the border between Russia and Ukraine have raised concerns about Russian gas flows to Europe, the news agency explains.

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