BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 1
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The EU can get through this winter safely, Kadri Simson, EU energy commissioner, said at the press conference on the Energy Council meeting, Trend reports.
“At the moment, gas flows from East to West continue, LNG deliveries to the EU have increased significantly and the weather forecast is favourable. The use of gas from storage has slowed down and we are still around 30 percent of storage capacity filled. Ministers have confirmed that their national and regional preparedness plans are ready and updated,” she said.
Simson noted that risks remain.
“Following the measures taken by the EU and the international community to sanction Russia, we cannot exclude that Russia will take retaliatory steps that will impact energy trade. A full disruption would be a challenge for us, but we have tools in place to handle the implications. We discussed the potential for additional or alternative gas supplies. We have already seen a steep increase of LNG to Europe in January and February, with LNG imports now around 10 bcm per month, the highest level ever in the EU,” the commissioner explained.
She pointed out that increasing the amount of LNG further requires EU-level coordination to maximize the use of infrastructure and make sure that gas ends up where it's mostly needed.
“To make this happen, I have announced that the Commission will set up a platform and contact groups with relevant Member States and LNG operators. In any case, we will reach the end of this winter with an exceptionally low level of gas storage. If current trends continue, our latest projection of storage for April is 18 percent, compared to over 30 percent the previous years. It is imperative that we start already now to plan for a sufficient level of gas storage ahead of the next heating season,” said Simson.
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