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EU Adopts Mandatory Gas Storage        06/27 06:19

   European Union countries agreed Monday that all natural gas storage in the 
27-nation bloc should be topped up to at least 80% capacity for next winter as 
they prepare for the possibility of Russia further reducing deliveries.

   BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union countries agreed Monday that all natural gas 
storage in the 27-nation bloc should be topped up to at least 80% capacity for 
next winter as they prepare for the possibility of Russia further reducing 
deliveries.

   The EU is trying to slash its use of Russian energy amid the Kremlin's war 
in Ukraine and find other sources. A ban on imports of Russian coal will start 
in August, and an embargo on most oil from Russia will be phased in over the 
coming eight months.

   Meanwhile, Moscow is disrupting natural gas deliveries, a fuel used to power 
factories and generate electricity that the EU didn't include in its own 
sanctions for fear of seriously harming the European economy. Before the war, 
the bloc got about 40% of its natural gas from Russia.

   Moscow has reduced gas supplies to several EU countries, including heavy 
importers Germany and Italy, and cut off deliveries to other members, such as 
Poland and Finland.

   The EU Council adopted the gas storage regulation Monday after the European 
Commission made a proposal in March. The regulation also says underground gas 
storage on EU soil will need to be filled to 90% capacity before the 2023-24 
winter.

   Heads of state and government agreed last week during a summit in Brussels 
to step up preparations for further gas cuts from Russia and to keep searching 
for other suppliers. The EU already has increased deliveries from the United 
States, Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan.

   Some EU members don't have storage facilities, so the regulation provides 
that they should store 15% of their annual national gas consumption in other 
member countries, allowing them access to reserves in other EU nations.

   Cyprus, Malta and Ireland, which are not directly connected with the gas 
system of other members, got an exemption, the council said, adding that 
filling obligations will stop at the end of December 2025.

 
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