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FRANKFURT: German gas storage facilities were slightly more than 75% full last Friday, a couple of weeks ahead of target, data from European operators group GIE showed on Sunday.

Germany has 23.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) of underground gas storage, a little more than a fifth of the 100 bcm of gas used in 2021.

The Rehden storage unit, which holds 4 bcm, was 54% full, the GIE data showed.

Germany is at phase two of a three-stage emergency plan formulated after a reduction in gas flows from Russia, its main supplier. That causes serious headaches for German industry, which accounts for a quarter of the country’s gas demand.

Russia has drastically cut flows to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline since mid-June and currently supplies only 20% of agreed volumes, blaming faulty and delayed equipment, while Europe says the move has been politically motivated.

The government had targeted gas storage levels to reach 75% by Sept. 1. The next targets are 85% by Oct. 1 and 95% by Nov. 1, which are embedded in a number of provisions aimed at helping Germany to avoid a gas crisis in the 2022/23 winter.

The provisions include higher imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and incentives to reduce energy usage.

Separately, Germany’s gas market operator THE is set to announce on Aug. 15 the size of a gas price levy on consumers, to help Uniper and other importers cope with soaring prices.

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