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Polish gas storages are around 97 pct full: report

Poland’s underground gas storages (UGS) have filling levels that are very high compared to other EU countries; the total capacity of the facilities in Poland stands at some 3 bln m3 – analysts of the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) have stated. They added that their filling levels stand at around 97 percent.

PIE noted that the filling levels of EU UGS facilities in July 2021 were at their lowest since 2010. “The shortages could have serious consequences if the coming winter proves to be prolonged and severe,” the institute pointed out.

Low gas stocks, experts explained, are the result of reduced supplies from Russia and greater purchases of natural gas on the Asian market. The Russian energy giant Gazprom is currently producing the most gas it has in the last 10 years, but the current production rate is expected to meet domestic needs to a greater extent.

According to analysts, the Russians want to avoid the situation of last year, when a harsh winter caused an above-average depletion of local stocks. Growing demand for gas on Asian markets, in turn, is a result of the dynamic recovery after the crisis; the Chinese are particularly active, buying natural gas in large quantities at costs exceeding market rates, they added.

“Polish gas reserves are high compared to other EU countries. We were the only country [except Croatia] with higher reserves in July this year than in 2020 [by 0.3 percent],” analysts said in the latest edition of PIE’s Economic Weekly.

They added that at that time the filling level of Polish UGS facilities exceeded 90 percent, while it now stands at around 97 percent.

Analysts noted that large declines in stocks are particularly observed in Western Europe. They have declined the most in Austria – where the filling level is 56.4 percent lower than a year ago. “Similar percentages are observed in the Netherlands (-49.8 percent) and Germany (-44.6 percent), with a slightly better situation in France (-25.5 percent),” they pointed out.

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