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Government gears up for 2024 gas storage filling race

CE Noticias Financieras  


    The Ministry of Ecological Transition has approved a ministerial order to regulate compliance with the obligation to maintain minimum security stocks of natural gas, which will increase from 20 days to 27.5 days. The Government's intention is to have everything ready for the next filling season where tensions for gas supply may increase due to the lower arrival of Russian gas in Europe.

    Royal Decree-Law 6/2022, dated March 29, adopted as an urgent measure within the framework of the National Response Plan to the war in Ukraine, an increase in the obligation to maintain minimum security stocks from 20 to 27.5 days of firm sales or consumption. This royal decree-law also introduced a new classification of these stocks, with 10 days becoming of a strategic nature, mobilizable by the Government, while another 10 days became minimum operating stocks of the system, mobilizable by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and, finally, 7.5 days became minimum operating stocks of users, which they must have in storage for at least November 1.

    The new regulation, published today in the BOE, imposes a new calculation formula necessary to transfer this obligation of minimum filling level of natural gas storage facilities, required by the European regulation, to the obligation imposed on users to maintain minimum security stocks based on firm demand, which is imposed by the Spanish regulation.

    The measure also comes at a time when the National Commission for Markets and Competition has several proceedings open against operators for alleged non-compliance with these security obligations.

    From now on, the percentage of the obligation may also be fulfilled by means of liquefied natural gas stored in the tanks of regasification plants.

    The new order also approves a subsidiary purchase procedure by the Technical System Manager in the event of non-compliance by the obligated parties so that something similar to what happened in Germany, where the person responsible for the storage facilities did not accumulate enough gas and caused a tense situation at the end of 2021, can be avoided.

    Ecological Transition also modifies the dates of the procedure for the direct allocation of subway storage capacity, so that the Corporation of Strategic Reserves (CORES) can communicate the amount of its obligation to the obligated companies.

    And, finally, the regulation sets the procedure for monitoring compliance with the obligation by the Corporación de Reservas de Productos Petrolíferos (CORES), both on November 1 and on the specific dates included in the filling path.


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