Special Report-Germany Starts Filling Colossal Rehden Gas Storage Facility

Germany started filling the Rehden gas storage facility abandoned by Russia’s state owned gas giant Gazprom according to the site’s state appointed manager. German government has accelerated efforts to secure energy in case of a supply cut from Russia.

Although Europe, and Germany in particular, imports a big majority of its gas from Russia, the future of supplies have become doubtful following Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s demand that gas payments to be made in roubles, which has been rejected by most buyers.

As Russo-Western diplomatic relations have deteriorated, Gazprom last month ditched its Gazprom Germania business, including western Europe’s biggest gas storage site at Rehden.

Germany’s energy regulator that temporarily manages the company said small volumes have started to being injected in Rehden. The statement added that the regulator was working extensively on solutions to ensure more gas flows into the facility.

Rehden can hold around 4 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas but received only small amounts last winter. Germany aims to fill the storage for the coming winter.

The facility is currently just 0.6% full, far below the 36% average for Germany’s gas storage facilities.

The regulator has said it will control Gazprom Germania until Sept. 30 and has the right to remove executives, hire new staff and tell management how to proceed. It has not said what will happen after that date.

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