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HomeLatest NewsSpain overcomes winter with gas reserves at almost 80% capacity

Spain overcomes winter with gas reserves at almost 80% capacity

Date: June 7, 2023 Time: 04:16:34

Spain has survived the winter with underground natural gas stores at almost 80% of their filling capacity. Specifically, according to the data from the European operators published by GIE-AGSI, as of March 20, 78.19% were found, which means 27.56 terawatt hours (TWh), despite the cold storm that hit the country. at the end of January as a consequence of the Gerard and Fien storms. We must also add the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks, which stand at 54%.

The country has a supply portfolio from 19 different origins, with new origins such as Indonesia and Mozambique. The United States ended 2022 as the main supplier of natural gas to Spain, taking its historical leader from Algeria, in a year in which national exports almost doubled compared to the previous year in a context marked by the energy crisis caused by the Invasion from Russia to Ukraine.

So far in 2023 and according to data compiled by Bloomberg from methane tankers arriving in Spain, our country was one of the largest European buyers of Russian LNG. Remember that Spain was one of the countries least exposed to Russian gas before the invasion. In this context, compared to the rest of the countries of the Old Continent, it is the third country with the most full national reserves, only behind Portugal (95.51%) and Sweden (95.23%). However, these two countries have a much lower storage capacity than Spain and right now they have 3.78 and 0.09 TWh, respectively. On the other hand, there are countries like Germany or Italy that exceed Spain in stored volume, even though the percentage of the total is lower.

Nine countries do not have warehouses

Community rules do not require Member States to have gas tanks (as is the case with oil, where it is mandatory to have reserves for 90 days of consumption) and there are 160 facilities among 18 community partners. However, Brussels did impose the obligation that the bloc’s reserves reach 80% of their capacity by November last year and has raised the target for the winter 2023-2024 to 90%. Spain exceeds the EU average by 22 percentage points, which stands at 55.75%, with 626.48 TWh, and thus approaches the milestone with much more comfort than many other Member States. The EU should arrive with deposits at 40% at the end of winter to avoid problems next year, according to calculations by the European Commission.

The nine countries without gas storage are Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia. The regulations oblige these companies to ensure that a neighboring country stores at least the equivalent of 15% of their annual consumption. Organizations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the next winter season could be “harder”. Under this scenario, the Commission has proposed extending by one year, until March 2024, the voluntary reduction in gas demand of 15% that the Member States have applied since last summer as an emergency measure in the face of the price crisis.

Between August and January 2023, according to the latest data handled by the Community Executive, the EU countries reduced their gas consumption by 19.2% on average, that is, above the 15% that had been set as a goal . Brussels presented at the beginning of March last year its proposal to reduce Russia’s gas imports by two thirds per year and achieve the objective of cutting its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2030. One year after the invasion, the EU has achieved replace almost 75% of Russian gas imports compared to pre-crisis levels, according to an analysis by Zero Carbon Analytics. In this sense, in addition to seeking a greater diversification of suppliers, the Old Continent has launched to build new LNG capacity.

The terminals being built could provide 65% more gas than Russia supplied at the end of last year. For example, Germany has built its first floating LNG terminal in just over six months. Spain leads in this field with almost 30% of the regasification capacity in Europe. The advantage of having regasification plants is having greater energy independence, since they allow LNG to be imported on ships from any country.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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