Germany’s State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG) said Friday, Feb. 3, that the largest gas storage facility in the Lower Saxony municipality Rehden was shut down for safety reasons following a high-pressure flaring the day before. LBEG said there was no indication of an act of sabotage, upon investigation.
The infrastructure resumed operation on Friday, at 6 a.m. local time (5 a.m. GMT), 12 hours earlier than initially scheduled. The storage company, which is a part of the Sefe Group, said the security of supply was not affected and that it worked with authorities to establish what caused the incident.
Due to the already dwindling global supply, gas markets are getting very worried when news of possible disruption arises. The world is also aware that Russian gas being supplied to most of Europe has slowed, if not totally halted as the country’s response to the sanctions placed on them by the West over Moscow’s invasion of Kyiv. Also, unexplained blasts back in September 2022 have left the Nord Stream gas pipelines between Russia and Germany with leaks and are totally unusable. The pipelines bring natural gas from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea. (Related: Surprise: Stocks tumble after Gazprom “completely halts” Nord Stream indefinitely due to “unexpected” leak.)
However, an LBEG spokesperson in the northern state of Lower Saxony’s capital Hanover said only the feed-in at Rehden was temporarily halted with withdrawals theoretically possible. But, none were planned or underway when the disruption occurred, meaning there was no impact on supply.
“In the last two days, the storage facility was thoroughly checked by the staff on-site and in Kassel in coordination with the responsible authorities, which enabled the technical defect to be identified,” Astora said. “The damages identified during the investigation will be repaired in a timely manner so that the injection operation can also be resumed. The incident still has no impact on the security of supply.”
Rehden has a four billion cubic meters capacity compared with up to 100 billion cubic meters (bcm) of German annual gas usage. It had been 90.3 percent full before the incident, the website of industry group Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) showed. Also, the “mild winter” in Europe did not make a dent in the said supply and there is currently an abundance of gas.
Germany is confident to face next winter without gas shortage
According to Initiative Energien Speichern (INES) German gas storage system operators association, they are not fazed to face next winter as there will not be supply problems due to declining consumption and no chance of a shortage of gas. The INES said that even if Russian pipeline deliveries stop completely and liquefied natural gas imports (LNG) decline, it would be possible to refill facilities for the 2023-24 cold season.
“Even with extremely low temperatures and the occurrence of risk factors, there will be no gas shortage in Germany,” said INES.
The country’s network regulator chief said last week that considerably less gas was used in the 52nd calendar week of 2022 than in previous years, with consumption down 30 percent from the average over the past four years.
However, the news website StangeSounds commented that if the recent shutdown in Rehden was not sabotage, the security of supply is not at risk and there is currently low to no demand, “why all this governmental terror?” “It feels like winter is almost over and the reserves are at 90 percent and you still want us to reduce our heating to a minimum?” the site inquired with the German government.
Visit Fuelsupply.news for more news related to the current situation of global gas supply.
Watch the video below that talks about Germany considering firing up coals last year due to dwindling gas supply.
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