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December 04
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 The rate of gas pumped into Europe's underground storage facilities increased over the weekend, with the region coming close to a 90 percent occupancy level as of late October 2, the Gas Infrastructure Europe association reported.

There were 96.53 billion cubic meters (89.32 percent) of natural gas in storage. In Belgium, however, all the storage capacities were filled to 100 percent. At the same time, only 18 of the 27 EU member states had any underground storage facilities.

According to EU regulations, the EU has to reach a total storage capacity of at least 80 per cent by November 1. Consequently, the EU countries are pumping gas well ahead of schedule. At the moment Bulgaria (76.31 per cent), Hungary (74.08 per cent) and Latvia (52.75 per cent) are behind.

Against the background of successful filling of gas storage facilities the cost of gas in Europe is decreasing significantly. As of October 4, it had dropped below $1.7 thousand per thousand cubic meters.

The consulting company Timera Energy says it is highly unlikely that Europe will run out of gas this winter because of a reduction in supplies from Russia. Experts consider insufficient saving of fuel in the EU as the main threat, which will not allow achieving the set goals.

As it was noted in the summer materials of the European Commission, gas storages provide 25-30 percent of the gas consumed in Europe in winter. However, the very rate at which they are filled by alternative suppliers proves that the region is able to compensate for the lack of Gazprom supplies.

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