Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has announced the filling of the underground reservoirs in a ministerial decree based on the Gas Storage Act. He wants to use this to secure Germany’s supply, especially next winter. Questions and answers on the storage situation:

Germany has the largest volume of storage in Europe, but also high consumption. There are around 50 storage units in total, which could cover around a quarter of annual consumption. They are needed mainly in winter, they are filled until autumn.

Currently, the storage tanks are almost half full on average. However, there are clear differences: the storage facilities in southern Germany are below average. The main reason is that they were almost completely emptied last winter. However, Germany’s largest storage facility in Rehden is conspicuously empty with a capacity of around one-fifth of the total storage facilities in Germany. It is only filled with two percent.

Rehden is owned by Gazprom Germania, which is under German trusteeship. Storage capacities are booked by the Russian Gazprom, which does not use them.

The law stipulates that the storage tanks must be 80 percent full by October and 90 percent by November. Habeck sees the danger that this will not be implemented for all storage systems. As a threshold, he set at least five percent at the beginning of May and ten percent at the beginning of June. In fact, the capacities are now being withdrawn from the Russian Gazprom group, or they can now be used by other traders.