Germany running out of natural gas
Natural gas reserves in Germany, which has one of the highest underground storage capacities in Europe, have fallen to historically low levels compared with previous years.
“The occupancy rate is now around 35%,” a representative of the Ministry of Economy said during a briefing on Monday, adding that the government was “closely monitoring the situation.”
The official has acknowledged that the occupancy of storage facilities is below the level of recent years, noting: “In any case, we want to change this in the coming years.”
The occupancy of storage facilities in Germany is determined not by the state, but by the market, the ministry representative said. Last week, the government admitted the nation’s gas reserves have fallen to “worrying” levels.
European consumers saw the greatest rise in prices ever recorded for electricity, gas and heating oil in 2021. In September, the price of gas on the European market exceeded the historical mark of $1,000 per thousand cubic meters, and has surged further to hit $2,000 per thousand cubic meters in October.
Economists have been warning of energy-price spikes deeper into the winter. However, the German government had claimed that “supplies were assured” and there was no risk of shortages.
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