Czech Gas Storage Reaches 80% of Capacity Ahead of Winter Season

(Reuters) — The Czech Republic's gas stores are 80% full, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Monday, as the country and other European Union member states continue to boost storage to protect against risks of a halt to Russian supplies.

The EU aims to have gas storage facilities across the bloc 80% full by Nov. 1, but its efforts have been hit by temporary outages or reduced capacity via Nord Stream 1, a major pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe. 

Fiala said in a Twitter post that Czech gas storage levels were at a record level. "We are working to be as well prepared as possible for the winter," he said.

The Czech Republic was nearly fully dependent on Russia for gas before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February pushed it to seek alternative supplies.

Industry Minister Jozef Sikela said last week the country had secured 3 billion cubic meters of annual gas capacity — roughly a third of consumption — through a LNG terminal in the Netherlands. It has been filling stores primarily through Norwegian and LNG sources, he said. 

The EU has urged its member states to curb gas use now to help fill storage ahead of winter and has warned that a full cut-off of Russian gas is likely. But an EU plan to cut gas use by 15% from August has faced resistance from some states.

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