A year and a half after the start of the war in Ukraine, Europe breathes a sigh of relief. While the Old Continent quickly feared a shortage of its gas reserves, following the drop in Russian imports, the figures for the end of 2023 are more than positive. Even too much. According to figures from Gas Infrastructure Europe, the European Union's storage capacities are 99.6% full. A rate which far exceeds the Brussels objective which was 90% in November. If France is 100% filled, some of its partners exceed the limit. Like Germany, which is at 100.1%, Spain at 100.4%, or even the United Kingdom at 102.6%.
With storage in European countries almost complete, as reported in the English daily, several energy companies are increasingly turning to Ukraine, which is home to the largest reservoirs in Europe. This is to store their reserves while waiting for strong winter demand. A level of reserves so high that it avoids, for the moment, further increases in gas prices. Which have already declined in recent weeks.
The situation is therefore not comparable to that of autumn 2022, when Europe experienced a vast energy crisis, leading to a meteoric rise in costs. In the event of an energy shock or new conflict, Europe will not be caught off guard. “The risk of a gas shortage in Europe is low this winter, barring major unforeseen supply disruptions or long, deep cold spells hitting Europe and Asia at the same time,” said Natasha Fielding, responsible for European gas pricing at Argus, a price assessment agency, to the Financial Times.