Skip to main content

Gas storage

Ensuring shared gas storage capacities in the EU is crucial to guarantee security of energy supply.

Reinforced EU rules on gas storage

The EU experienced a prolonged period of volatile and high energy prices in 2021 due to lower-than-usual storage filling levels, among many factors. The increased geopolitical tensions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the beginning of 2022 amplified uncertainties and highlighted the need for well-filled gas storage for future winters.

On 23 March 2022, the Commission published a Communication on security of supply and affordable energy prices (COM/2022/138), together with a proposal for a new regulation on gas storage. The proposed measures aimed to address the root causes of the problem in the gas market and ensure the security of supply at reasonable prices for winter 2022-2023 and beyond. 

Key facts on gas storage 

June 2022
EU Gas Storage Regulation EU/2022/1032
Gas storage filling target by 1 November 2022
Gas storage filling target by 1 November 2023 – and years following

Gas Storage Regulations

The proposed measures were adopted in the Gas Storage Regulation (EU/2022/1032) in June 2022. Under these rules, gas storage facilities are considered critical infrastructure and an updated certification process was introduced for all storage operators in the EU to reduce the risks of outside interference. This contributes to reducing the security of supply risks and supports the EU's competitiveness by ensuring that storage facilities are properly filled.

Operators of storage sites should report the filling levels to national authorities and EU countries should monitor the filling levels on a monthly basis and report to the Commission.

Another important and new element is the burden-sharing mechanism. Some EU countries have storage larger than their own national consumption, while others do not have any storage facilities. However, all EU countries benefit from the guaranteed filling levels, so the burden-sharing mechanism makes sure that not only EU countries with storage facilities pay for the security of supply costs of the minimum filling target.

In order to ensure security of gas supply and to comply with the gas storage target of 90% by 1 November each year, the Gas Storage Regulation allows the Commission to set the filling trajectory for each EU country with underground gas storage facilities from 2023 onwards. It defines the intermediate targets for the 1st of February, May, July and September for EU countries with underground storage on their territory and connected to their market area. These targets are based on the proposals made by EU countries in September 2022, based on the filling rates of the previous 5 years, and the Commission’s assessment of the general security of supply situation in the EU and individual EU countries.

The Commission published a report on certain aspects concerning gas storage in February 2024, which found that these measures (and the gas demand reduction regulation) not only helped guarantee security of supply, but also contributed to stabilising energy prices, benefitting the competitiveness of the EU economy and reducing bills for citizens from the peaks seen in August 2022 after the Russian invasion.

  1. March 2023

    Report and staff working document on the Gas Storage Regulation

  2. November 2022

    Adoption of the Regulation on intermediary targets for underground gas storage

  3. June 2022

    Adoption of the Gas Storage Regulation (EU/2022/1032)

  4. February 2022

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Certification for storage system operators

Gas storage facilities are critical for ensuring the security of gas supply. The mandatory certification of all gas storage system operators was introduced in order to avoid potential risks resulting from non-EU-country influence over storage infrastructure.

 The certifying authorities should issue draft certification decisions by 2 January 2024 and notify them to the Commission. The Commission issues an opinion for each draft certification decision submitted by the certifying authorities and publishes it. After taking outmost account of the Commission’s opinion, the certifying authority will issue the certification decision.

Related links