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The filling of the underground gas storage at Norg has stopped in Drenthe. Higher gas prices lead to a very high financial risk of storing more gas, says gas trading company Gasterra.
The cabinet wants gas storage facilities to be at least 80 percent full before Oct. 1 and has submitted a financial guarantee plan for that. The Norwegian company is now 80.5 percent full, in line with the target, but Gastera also wants financial guarantees from the government for the remaining 20 percent of gas.
The reason is that the gas that is being stored now has to be bought at a high price and it remains to be seen if that price can be recovered. “The price of gas is now so high that you are pretty sure you won’t be able to get it back at the time of sale,” a Gasterra spokesperson said. The remaining gas quantities involve billions of euros. The price of gas has risen sharply in recent weeks due to the scarcity of Russian gas and massive demand across Europe due to filling gas stocks.
All underground gas storage facilities in Bergermeer, Alkmaar, Grijpskerk and Norg are filled to a minimum of 80 percent. This covers gas consumption for the upcoming winter. The government prefers to fill the gas stock to 100 per cent.
The Dutch underground gas storage capacity is 16.7 billion cubic metres. Filling with at least 80 percent means a gas stock of 13.4 billion cubic metres, which corresponds to the annual gas consumption of 8.1 million Dutch households.
gas storage in the netherlands
|gas storage||Fill level August 15||Max capacity|
|Bergermere||56.5%||4.1 billion cubic meters|
|Alkmaar (peak installation)||73.2 percent||3.6 billion cubic meters|
|Gergeskirk||71.6%||2 billion cubic meters|
|norg||80.5 percent||7 billion cubic meters|
“It’s war in gas country,” says Geert Griving, an energy expert and former Gasterra board chairperson, “We will do well to fill gas storage facilities to the maximum, at war power. We simply cannot afford to leave empty-handed. Sit down.”
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has now announced that the Cabinet is negotiating with Gastera. Gastera is the commercial arm of the Non-Aligned Movement and is owned by ExxonMobil, Shell and the state. A Gasterra spokesperson hopes that more will be known about the procedures “as soon as possible”, so that we hope GasTerra will continue to fill its gas storage.
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