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Germany’s natural gas storage facility in Rehden, Lower Saxony—Germany’s largest—cannot store any gas, a Lower Saxony supervisory authority said on Wednesday, according to Spiegel.
The pore storage facility accounts for one-fifth o the total storage capacity available in Germany and is also one of the largest in Western Europe, with a working capacity of around 4 billion cubic meters on an underground area of around eight square kilometers, according to the facility’s website.
The natural gas storage facility experienced deflagration on a torch due to unknown causes. The memory was 90.29 percent full on Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Network Agency data shows.
“Investigations into the cause of the deflagration are ongoing,” a spokesman said on Wednesday.
Storage has been stopped as a precaution, and the storage facility cannot be refilled for days—with no specific date given as to when storage can resume. The State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology said there was no evidence of external influence.
A spokesperson told media that the deflagration occurred during a storage phase and not a delivery phase, adding that no one would be out of gas.
Just a couple of weeks ago, German gas storage operators said that they did not foresee any gas supply problems next winter based on declining consumption this winter—and they said there was no chance of shortage this winter, even with extremely low temperatures and even accounting for risk factors.
Storage facilities in Germany are nearly 90% full, well above their legal requirements to hold 40%, achieved in part by declining usage due to mild winter weather and deliberate usage curbs.
The Rehden gas storage facility was abandoned last April by Russia’s Gazprom as its relations with Europe soured. Germany began filling the storage facility a month later, in May.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.