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Ursula von der Leyen: EU leaders to discuss strategic gas reserve at October summit

EU leaders are to discuss the option of setting up a strategic EU gas reserve against the background of high gas prices, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said

Ursula von der Leyen: EU leaders to discuss strategic gas reserve at October summit

Tallinn, October 6 - Neftegaz.RU. Speaking at a press conference in Estonia, von der Leyen said the current high gas prices were a result of a lack of supply response to higher demand, and highlighted the EU's gas import dependence, S&P Global Platts reported.

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.
She said:
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.

Supply response
Von der Leyen said the lack of a supply response was partly to blame for record high gas prices in Europe.
She said:
  • 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
Norway's state-controlled Equinor said last month it had secured rises in its production permits for the Troll and Oseberg fields, and that it expected higher production from both this winter.

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.
She said:
  • In gas, we are heavily dependent of imports. 90% of gas is being 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
She said that this reinforced the need to invest in renewables:
  • 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

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