Greece’s Energy Ministry is considering natural gas storage in Italy and Bulgaria to ensure sufficient supplies for the 2022-23 winter season.
The European Commission requires all European Union member-states without gas storage to secure agreements with countries that do have storage by November 1 this year, for quantities equivalent to 15% of annual gas consumption. In the case of Greece, the annual consumption of natural gas in 2020 was 5.8 billion cubic meters, which means that it is necessary to ensure a stored quantity of 0.9 billion m³.
Bulgaria does have a natural gas storage facility, to which the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) is interconnected, with a second interconnection point to start operating soon through the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline. But Bulgaria’s underground facility has a relatively limited capacity of 0.6 billion m³.
The capacity of storage facilities in Italy is in the order of 20 billion m³. Greece is connected with these via Albania and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). In this case the required quantities can be secured on the basis of exchange agreements.