Latvia has already met the requirements of the European Union’s Gas Storage Regulation, confirmed by Conexus Baltic Grid (Conexus) gas storage and transmission system operator
Latvia has already met the requirements of the European Union’s Gas Storage Regulation, confirmed by Conexus Baltic Grid (Conexus) gas storage and transmission system operator. The EU has stated that all member states are obliged to stock 35% of their annual gas consumption in underground facilities. According to Conexus, this amounts to 4.46 TWh of gas. Over the past five years, Latvia has been consuming an average of 12.74 TWh of gas per year.
Currently, the total amount of gas stored at the underground facility in Inčukalns was 9.71 TWh, while the gas stocks of Latvia-registered users came to 4.85 TWh, which is close to 50% of all gas stock stored in the underground facility.
Conexus chairperson Uldis Bariss stated that the new regulation will strengthen the security of the EU’s gas supply, considering upcoming and following winters. According to the EU Gas Storage Regulation, Europe’s gas reserves must be refilled before this winter, and their management protected from outside interference.
As reported, the 18 EU member states with underground storage facilities, including Latvia, are required to fill 80% of their storage capacity by November 1, and are encouraged to aim for 85%. In the coming years, the target will be 90%.
The Economics Ministry indicated that when drawing up the new regulation, the European Commission took into consideration the unique situation of Latvia and Austria, which are the only EU member states with large gas storage facilities whose capacity is larger than the country’s gas consumption.
Member states without storage infrastructure are required to agree bilateral arrangements for sufficient quantities to be stored for their use in neighbouring countries. Gas storage facilities will now be considered critical infrastructure and all storage operators in the EU will have to go through a new certification process to reduce risks of outside interference.