The bloc’s storage facilities are reportedly nearing full capacity ahead of winter
EU gas traders are now using Ukrainian storage facilities to keep excessive volumes of the fuel ahead of the upcoming winter season despite the military conflict in the country, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
According to data provided by Gas Infrastructure Europe, the bloc’s gas storage sites are currently nearly 99% full.
The EU managed to hit its 90% gas storage target back in August, two and a half months ahead of the November 1 deadline.
However, European energy companies continue to purchase the fuel, including liquefied natural gas, bracing for further supply risks.
With EU facilities at almost full capacity, energy firms are increasingly turning to Ukraine, which boasts Europe’s largest infrastructure to store gas reserves, according to the FT. The move has reportedly pushed the amount of gas stored in Ukraine to its highest level since February 2022, when Moscow launched its military operation.
Analysts have warned that the EU is exposed to shortages in the event of a prolonged colder winter, possible delivery disruptions, and geopolitical tensions, which are expected to have a major impact on energy markets and send prices skyrocketing.
“The risk of a gas shortage in Europe is low for this winter, barring any major unplanned supply disruptions or long, deep cold snaps that hit Europe and Asia at the same time,” Natasha Fielding, head of European gas pricing at Argus, a price reporting agency, told the newspaper, adding that the 27-nation bloc has stocked up as well as it possibly could.
Some traders are reportedly paying for LNG tankers to act as offshore “floating storage” to hold the extra volumes.
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