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Germany says it filled gas reserves to 95 percent faster than expected

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Germany on Friday said it had filled its gas reserves to 95 percent faster than expected as it prepares for a winter deprived of Russian energy supplies.

Europe’s largest economy had been heavily dependent on Russian gas and has raced to bolster its reserves before winter after deliveries from Russia halted following the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

“Storage levels today surpassed an average level of 95 percent,” the economy ministry said in a statement. “That shows that regulation is having an effect and supply is strengthened for the coming winter.”

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Berlin in July set a series of goals so that gas stocks would reach 95 percent of capacity by November. Economy Minister Robert Habeck called Friday’s report an “important milestone.”

He said government measures had managed “to regulate a market that was largely unregulated in the past decades so that we could fill the storage facilities faster than expected despite the halt in deliveries via the Nord Stream 1” pipeline from Russia.

The government said energy-saving measures in recent weeks and massive purchases of gas from other suppliers had led to significant progress.

Berlin has also introduced measures allowing more coal-based power and reducing energy consumption in public buildings.

And it has spent 1.50 billion euros ($1.46 billion) to buy liquefied natural gas, with Qatar and the United States being major suppliers, and five new LNG terminals are planned to import it by sea.

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