The occupancy rate in Europe's natural gas storage facilities fell to 37.5% in January 2021 from 52% in January 2022, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.
In January 2021, there were approximately 60 billion cubic meters of gas in all of the natural gas storages across Europe, and the occupancy rate was recorded as 52%.
In the same period of this year, this amount decreased by 18 billion cubic meters to 42 billion cubic meters, and the occupancy rate of the storages decreased to 37.5%.
Italy has the most natural gas in Europe with 10 billion cubic meters (47% occupancy rate in storage). Germany follows Italy with 8.7 billion cubic meters (35% occupancy rate in storage) and France with 4.4 billion cubic meters (33% occupancy rate in storage).
Regarding the natural gas storage occupancy rate, Portugal led Europe with 80% (200 million cubic meters). The UK followed with 75% (750 million cubic meters).
Currently, the occupancy rate of storage in Europe stands at 36.6%.
Increase in demand and cold winter were effective in the decrease
The colder-than-expected winter season and the increase in energy demand have led to more use of natural gas in storage. The decrease in the amount of natural gas sent by Russia to Europe via Ukraine and the decrease in production from hydroelectric power plants were also influential in decreasing gas in the storages.
Experts state that there may be difficulties in natural gas supply due to the tension between Russia and Ukraine. European and US officials are worried that in case of war between the two countries, Russia, which supplies 40% of Europe's gas, will respond to the sanctions by closing the valves.
Russia supplies natural gas to Europe through its energy giant, Gazprom, either through long-term contracts or on one-off trading agreements on the spot market.
Experts contend that Russia is using the contentious Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, the construction of which has been completed despite encountering various obstacles and deemed undesirable by many European countries, to gain leverage in Europe, showing its necessity to transmit much-needed gas to Europe.Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Şubat 2022, 02:34