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    EU to launch joint gas purchasing framework: press

Summary

EU leaders could agree on a strategic gas purchasing pool for the bloc later this week.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Security of Supply, Political, Intergovernmental agreements, Territorial dispute, News By Country, EU

EU to launch joint gas purchasing framework: press

EU leaders could back joint European purchases of natural gas, LNG and hydrogen during 2022 at a summit later this week, Reuters reported March 22.

The joint purchasing proposal would be "urgently" triggered before this winter, according to a draft text seen by Reuters. The summit will take place on March 24 and 25. 

A strategic gas purchasing pool might help the EU alleviate spikes in gas prices as they occur in specific parts of the bloc. The proposal first emerged last year but has gained momentum in light of the Ukraine war.

The EU could also adopt a proposal recently made by the European Commission requiring EU gas storage operators to ensure that their facilities are at least 90% full by October 1, to safeguard the bloc's energy security during the 2022-23 winter.

Gas storage cooperation is expected to feature in the final summit agreement, along with a remit for the Commission to optimise energy markets through "necessary initiatives." At present, EU storage holds 26% of capacity, according to data published by Gas Infrastructure Europe.

National governments in the EU still take the majority of energy policy decisions. Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have resisted handing Brussels greater powers to control gas markets, including in terms of pricing caps and other regulation.