Warehouses are 96% full, the second highest since 2019.
Large gas reserves at the beginning of the winter of 2023/24 are mainly the result of record volumes of gas production at the end of the winter of 2022/23 / photo ua.depositphotos.com
Europe will enter the winter heating season with record gas reserves in storage, protecting the region from the threat of gas shortages and a repeat of last year’s high prices.
As reported Reuters with reference to Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), gas reserves in the European Union and Great Britain as of September 30 amounted to 1,096 terawatt-hours (TWh). Stocks are +172 TWh (+19% or +1.59 standard deviation) above the seasonal average over the previous ten years at the end of the main summer stocking season.
Warehouses are 96% full, the second-highest on record after 2019, compared to the ten-year seasonal average of 87%.
High levels of starting stocks, combined with new LNG import terminals and some additional gas storage in Ukraine, should ensure stable stocks regardless of the weather in the winter of 2023/24.
Over the last decade, the largest winter drop in history was -782 TWh, with an average value of only -588 TWh, so the region will be able to survive the winter.
Large gas reserves at the start of winter 2023/24 are largely the result of record gas production at the end of winter 2022/23. Due to warmer-than-normal temperatures, combined with a sharp reduction in industrial consumption and high prices designed to limit the use of gas by energy and other producers, gas reserves in the region have appeared unusually high.
The war in Ukraine and preparations for winter in the EU
In December 2022, the EU agreed on a ceiling price for gas.
In April 2023, for the first time in 10 years, gas reserves in EU storage facilities reached a record level. By early April, the block’s storage was 55.7% full, the highest level since at least 2011. This level exceeded the average of the previous five years by about 20 percentage points.
In August 2023, it was reported that there would be a surplus of gas reserves in Ukraine in the winter. As Oleksiy Chernyshov, the chairman of the board of Naftogaz of Ukraine, said, this heating season, Ukraine is counting only on its own gas production and it will be enough.
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