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GIE Press Release
 
Press Release
  30 January 2019

Cold weather hits Europe and triggers increase in storage withdrawals and LNG send-out

  • Gas stocks stood ready to cope with the first test of the winter
  • The current level of storage capacity in Europe is essential for the flexibility, analysis shows
  • GIE develops recommendations for a sustainable gas storage market

Last week the temperatures in large parts of Europe fell below the seasonal norm. This has led to increased utilisation of gas infrastructure and particularly higher levels of LNG send-out and storage withdrawals.

According to ALSI and AGSI transparency platforms, between 18 and 28 January 2019, total LNG send-out in Europe was at about 27TWh, more than double at this period last year. During the same period, total amount of 84TWh gas has been withdrawn, compared to 65TWh in 2018. In the beginning of the cold spell, gas stocks across Europe stood at 62% (658TWh), ready to cope with the first test of winter.

Alongside the vast pipeline system, Europe’s underground storages and LNG terminals are important elements that guarantee the security of supply and ensure adequate energy for all EU citizens.

According to the recently published GIE Storage Map 2018, the total gas storage Working Gas Volume (WGV) in Europe is 1,131TWh (representing 21% of annual gas consumption) and can deliver up to 22TWh of natural gas per day. The data also revealed that the existing storage capacity has dropped 4% over the last two years, driven by decommissioning and a decrease in projects under construction or in development. This trend results from the existing economic environment for the gas storage market in Europe.

To provide some quantitative evidence of increased security of supply risk associated with the reduction of gas storage WGV, GIE and ENTSOG have collaborated and run a sensitivity analysis of the Winter Outlook. The outcome of the exercise implies that the risk of demand load curtailment arises from as little as 10% reduction in gas storage WGV in a cold winter. GIE President Jean-Marc Leroy comments on the results of the ENTSOG analysis, “This clearly underlines that the current level of storage capacity in Europe is essential for the high security of supply level we have reached in Europe which is also essential to provide the flexibility needed to balance Europe’s ever-increasing renewable energy production.”

To reach emission reduction targets at as low a cost as possible, there is a need for a closer linkage between gas and electricity systems, including the integration of Gas-to-Power and Power-to-Gas as part of an integrated and dynamic system. This missing link will provide a conduit for interconnecting the energy system and balancing the increasingly variable flows resulting from an increasing share of renewables.

GIE President Jean-Marc Leroy highlights that, “It is therefore critical that our gas system plays a central role in the transformation of our energy system taking place right now”.

In order to continue to play the role in ensuring that EU citizens can rely on affordable energy during cold periods, GIE has developed recommendations for a sustainable gas storage market, available here.

Note to editors

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is an association representing the interests of gas infrastructure operators active in gas transmission, storage and LNG regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking.

GIE currently represents 70 member companies from 26 countries. Its internal structure has three columns corresponding to the three types of infrastructure activities represented: GTE (Gas Transmission Europe), GSE (Gas Storage Europe) and GLE (Gas LNG Europe), all of which fall under the umbrella of GIE. This structure allows member companies to speak with one voice on infrastructure topics as well as to build positions on column-specific issues. To find out more about GIE’s structure and activities, please visit the website at www.gie.eu.

Press Contact

Should you require any further information please contact:

GIE Secretariat
T +32 2 209 05 00
gie@gie.eu

 

 

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