About one quarter of all the energy used in the EU is natural gas, and many EU countries import nearly all their supplies. Some of these countries are also heavily reliant on a single source or a single transport route for the majority of their gas. Disruptions along this route caused by infrastructure failure or political disputes can endanger supplies. For instance, the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine in 2009 disrupted supplies to some EU countries.
Gas supply regulation
To help prevent potential supply disruptions and and respond to them if they happen, the EU strengthened its Security of Gas Supply Regulation in 2010. The Regulation:
- creates a common indicator to measure serious threats to gas security known as N-1. This indicator refers to a situation in which a very important national gas installation such as a production facility or pipeline falls out of operation
- defines a supply standard that EU countries must prepare to meet even in the case of a disruption such as N-1. This standard means that countries must be able to supply at least 30 days' worth of gas to private households and other vulnerable consumers such as hospitals
- requires EU countries to designate an authority specifically responsible for the gas supply
- requires the authority to create a Preventive Action Plan which assesses supply risks and proposes preventative measures such as investment in new pipelines
- requires the authority to prepare Emergency Plans for dealing with a crisis. These plans should include specific procedures that come into effect during disruption and ways of coordinating with other national authorities
- sets up a Gas Coordination Group to coordinate actions and exchange information between national authorities and industry.
Report of the implementation of Regulation (EU) 994/2010 and its contribution to solidarity and preparedness for gas disruptions in the EU
Public service obligations on the field of security of gas supply
Guidance for EU countries from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre
Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans from Member States
- For the Risk Assessments:
- For the Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans:
Gas Coordination Group
The Gas Coordination Group coordinates security of supply measures amongst EU countries. The Group also exchanges information on security of supply with supplier, consumer and transit countries.
Group members include national authorities, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), the European Network for Transmission System Operators (ENTSOG), the Energy Community, and representatives of industry and consumer associations.
Meeting schedule and agendas