EU strategy for LNG and gas storage

01-06-2016

In February 2016, the European Commission presented an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage, as part of its sustainable energy security package. This builds on existing EU legislation and supports closer consideration of LNG and gas storage issues in proposed or future EU legislation covering the gas sector. Some EU Member States have significant spare capacity to import LNG, whose global prices have fallen rapidly over the past two years, making it far more competitive vis-à-vis pipeline imports. LNG production is expected to increase substantially in the coming years, with predictions of a supply glut and a sustained period of low prices. The LNG strategy considers how the EU can take advantage of this changing market in order to develop a more diverse, secure and affordable gas supply. The strategy proposes a more optimal geographical distribution of LNG import capacity, improved cross-border gas interconnections, full implementation of the internal gas market and closer international engagement with countries that are major LNG suppliers or importers. The strategy notes that LNG has considerable potential as a transport fuel, with far lower air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions than oil-based equivalents. Improved cross-border access to gas storage and more flexible storage options would enhance the potential benefits deriving from increased LNG use. Separate studies of gas storage produced for the Parliament and the Commission argue that storage levels are generally adequate in the EU, despite the very different regulatory regimes adopted by Member States. Gas storage in the EU would benefit from improved cross-border access and a focus on storage issues in regions with supply vulnerabilities.

In February 2016, the European Commission presented an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage, as part of its sustainable energy security package. This builds on existing EU legislation and supports closer consideration of LNG and gas storage issues in proposed or future EU legislation covering the gas sector. Some EU Member States have significant spare capacity to import LNG, whose global prices have fallen rapidly over the past two years, making it far more competitive vis-à-vis pipeline imports. LNG production is expected to increase substantially in the coming years, with predictions of a supply glut and a sustained period of low prices. The LNG strategy considers how the EU can take advantage of this changing market in order to develop a more diverse, secure and affordable gas supply. The strategy proposes a more optimal geographical distribution of LNG import capacity, improved cross-border gas interconnections, full implementation of the internal gas market and closer international engagement with countries that are major LNG suppliers or importers. The strategy notes that LNG has considerable potential as a transport fuel, with far lower air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions than oil-based equivalents. Improved cross-border access to gas storage and more flexible storage options would enhance the potential benefits deriving from increased LNG use. Separate studies of gas storage produced for the Parliament and the Commission argue that storage levels are generally adequate in the EU, despite the very different regulatory regimes adopted by Member States. Gas storage in the EU would benefit from improved cross-border access and a focus on storage issues in regions with supply vulnerabilities.