The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament on Thursday reached an agreement on a proposal for a regulation on natural gas storage to improve the security of supply in the current geopolitical context.
The two legislative bodies agreed that underground gas storage facilities in the EU should be filled to at least 80 per cent of their capacity for the 2022/2023 winter season and to 90 per cent thereafter.
Countries with large storage capacity would be required to fill it to 35 per cent capacity of their average consumption over the past five years so that individual countries would not be exposed to disproportionately high costs considering the present gas prices.
Under the agreement, member states could meet the 90 per cent target by counting stocks of liquefied natural gas.
As not all member states have storage facilities on their territory, it was agreed that member states without storage facilities would have access to gas storage reserves in other member states corresponding to 15% of their annual gas consumption over the past five years, and would need to share an appropriate portion of the financial burden for filling the storage facilities concerned.
The agreement now needs to be formally adopted by the Council and Parliament.