EU leaders are due to meet for a European Council summit Oct. 21-22, with high energy prices set to feature at the top of the agenda.
In the short term, we will discuss in the European Council how to deal with storage, a strategic reserve
There is currently no coordinated EU policy on strategic gas reserves, with each member state having its own mechanisms for the building of gas stocks.
Some - incl. Italy and France - have some storage regulation including on maintaining minimum storage levels, while others depend solely on market dynamics.
According to Gas Infrastructure Europe, the EU's gas storage sites are currently filled to just 75.7% of capacity compared with 95.2% a year ago.
Von der Leyen said the lack of a supply response was partly to blame for record high gas prices in Europe.
- We are very grateful that Norway is stepping up its production now, but this does not seem to be the case, for example, in Russia
Supplies of Russian gas, however, have fallen in recent months, despite Gazprom saying it was meeting all of its contractual obligations.
Von der Leyen said the current situation reflected the EU's dependence on gas imports.
- In gas, we are heavily dependent of imports. 90% of gas is being imported...so we are very much dependent on the suppliers
- And what is the reason for the rise in gas prices?
- Of course globally the economies are picking up, so the demand is rising, but the supply is not rising accordingly
- For the mid- and long-term, it's very clear we have to invest in the European Green Deal, in renewables
- This is our production, we are independent, they are stable in the price and good for the future