ATHENS – The Greek Ministry of Environment & Energy is considering natural gas storage in Italy and in Bulgaria to ensure sufficient supplies for the 2022-2023 winter season, it was reported on Saturday.
The European Commission last week presented its proposals, according to which member states are obliged to ensure that their underground natural gas storage reserves have been paid for at least 80% of their capacity by November 1, 2022, a percentage which that will reach 90% in coming years, it was added.
EU member states without gas storage are required to secure agreements with countries that do have storage by November 1 this year, for quantities equivalent to 15% of annual gas consumption. In the case of Greece, the annual consumption of natural gas in 2020 was 5.8 billion cubic meters, which means that it is necessary to ensure a stored quantity of 0.9 billion cubic meters.
Bulgaria does have a natural gas storage facility, with which the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) is interconnected, with a second interconnection point to soon operate through the Greek-Bulgarian IGB pipeline. But Bulgaria’s underground warehouse has a relatively limited capacity of 0.6 billion cubic meters, it was noted.
The capacity of storage facilities in Italy is in the order of 20 billion cubic meters, with which Greece is interconnected via Albania with the TAP pipeline, in which case required quantities can be secured on the basis of exchange agreements.