Fiala: Czech gas reservoirs are already at 80% capacity

The Czech Republic’s gas storage is 80 percent full. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) said on Monday that this is a record level. Thus, the Czech Republic has reached the limit to which the European Union states must fill the reservoirs by this November. EU energy ministers agreed on this in June to ensure that EU countries are prepared for any severe disruption of gas supplies from Russia.

“We are at an all-time high. We are working to be as prepared as possible for winter, “Fiala wrote.

“This year, we have introduced a rule that gas storage tanks in EU countries must be filled at least 80 percent before winter. In the Czech Republic, we exceeded this limit on Monday and have two billion and 687 million cubic meters (of gas), “Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela(for STAN) said on Twitter.

The Czech Republic consumes approximately 9.4 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with Russia providing roughly 98 percent of the gas. A week ago, when the Czech gas storage tanks were about 77 percent full, Síkela told the media that the gas in them would cover the country’s consumption until about January.

The Czech Republic plans to use gas from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Netherlands to reduce its dependence on Russia. Síkela’s earlier statement would extend the Czech Republic’s gas consumption by one and a half to two months.

Some EU officials are convinced that Russia will use the planned maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to cut the EU off from gas supplies permanently.

They say Moscow is planning the move in retaliation for EU sanctions, including a partial embargo on Russian oil imposed in response to Russia’s occupation of Ukraine.

On Monday, Russian gas giant Gazprom announced that it would shut down another turbine of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for maintenance on Wednesday, July 27.

This reduces gas supplies to 33 million cubic meters per day or about 20% of capacity. The pipeline currently operates at approximately 40% capacity, with supplies at about 67 million cubic meters per day.

Síkela called an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the gas supply crisis. The Czech Republic took over the six-month presidency of the EU Council in July.