Media Centre


GIE - Press Release

24th February 2021

After some exceptionally cold weeks in large parts of the world, with temperatures below the seasonal norm, underground gas storage assets have been essential in delivering energy to all European citizens and keeping their houses warm.

Underground gas storage facility in Chémery, France – Image courtesy of Storengy
Underground gas storage facility in Chémery, France – Image courtesy of Storengy

Dr Axel Wietfeld, President of Gas Storage Europe (GSE), the European association of the Storage Operators and hence one column of Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), stated: “Underground gas storage facilities have played a pivotal role in ensuring EU security of supply during the cold spell. If we take the example of Germany, in the last few weeks, 61% of gas peak demand was met by underground gas storage withdrawals. All available options and measures have been taken to quickly answer short-term flexibility needs and to ensure that households and industries are able to maintain their daily activities”.

Since early February 20211, the European underground gas storage facilities have constantly guaranteed excellence in operation and worked at a maximum speed by withdrawing up to 10,5 TWh of gas per day – one of the highest daily rates since the ‘Beast from the East’ three years ago2. Such a performance has been made possible thanks to the high storage levels standing at 95% at the beginning of the heating season. On 20th February 2021, they fell to 39% following a sharp decrease of 10 %-points over a period of only two weeks, well below the 63% filling level in the same period last year. This flexibility also benefits to the electricity sector by supplying fuel to gas-fired power stations and bridging the capacity gap at short notice, particularly when the weather conditions are not favorable to renewable energy generation.

Beyond smoothing out seasonal fluctuations in energy demand and supply, European storage system operators this year have also fulfilled a less visible, but unique balancing role for the broader global gas market. Indeed, in January 2021, severe cold snaps and a significant rise in prices in Asia boosted gas exports to meet massive demand in this part of the world.

Dr Axel Wietfeld added: “This highlights that the EU market is extremely resilient thanks to the interplay of large-scale storage facilities, robust transmission pipelines and LNG terminals, even in a tight global gas market. I would like to applaud the efforts of Storage System Operators for reaching these high withdrawal records in the last few weeks and encourage them to sustain their flawless activities”.

Are you curious about the latest storage data?

Check out our AGSI+ Transparency Platform available at:

The AGSI+ (Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory) and ALSI (Aggregated LNG Storage Inventory) platforms are publicly accessible websites that provide daily European storage and LNG data, free of charge. The AGSI+ (since 2007) and ALSI (since 2013) platforms are a voluntary transparency initiative by GIE Members, but are also open to non-GIE Members, free of charge.

The AGSI+ and ALSI platforms and the maps created based on their data are the reference on the field. These publications are well-known and monitored by analysts, journalists, academia, EU representatives covering European storage and LNG data.

1Gas Infrastructure Europe (2021), AGSI+ Transparency platform. Available at: All data in this paragraph have been extracted from this database.
2Please see the press release by Gas Infrastructure Europe (2018) Return of cold weather triggers large use of gas infrastructure in Europe, 20 March 2018.

Available at:
. LinkedIn
      Download the Press Release  
      Press Release
(PDF, 550KB)
      Download the visual  
      Underground gas storage facility in Chémery, France (image courtesy of Storengy) - JPG, 2MB
      Follow us on social media  
LinkedIn Twitter Instagram Facebook Vimeo
      Contact us  
      Gas Storage Europe Contact:
Mathilde Blanchard
Policy Advisor
T +32 495 29 82 90
      Press contact:
Gabrielle Lelievre
Communication Advisor
T +32 478 78 34 83

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering 70 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association's vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.





  Record-breaking underground gas storage net withdrawals in Europe last winter Tuesday, 11th May 2021 More gas has been wi...
  Regulating the hydrogen infrastructure: GIE sets out views for the future regulatory framework for hydrogen Monday, 10th M...
  Wednesday, 21st April 2021 GIE publishes an in-depth analysis of the role of gases and the existing gas infrastructure in s...
  GIE is proud to be part of ENZA Brussels, 30th March 2021 The European Net Zero Alliance (ENZA) is an eclectic alliance: it br...
Press release | Establishing a common terminology: a key step to reducing methane emissions Monday, 22nd March 2021 The whole ga...
  24th February 2021 After some exceptionally cold weeks in large parts of the world, with temperatures below the seasonal norm, ...
  26th January 2021 Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) hosted its first workshop of 2021 on What legislation for long-term energy st...
ENTSOG and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) publish the System Development Map 2019/2020 Brussels, 11 January 2021 The European N...
GIE launches Inside Information Platform under REMIT 23 December 2020 Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) takes a new step forward by...
  Gas infrastructure is a key enabler for the energy transition 15 December 2020 Today, TEN-E Regulation brings the EU one step...
Deluxe News Pro - Copyright 2009,2010 Monev Software LLC