Energy

Secure gas supplies

Secure gas supplies

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.

To help prevent potential supply disruptions and respond to them if they happen, EU legislation creates common standards and indicators to measure serious threats and define how much gas EU countries need to be able to supply to households and other vulnerable consumers. A Gas Coordination Group also provides a forum to discuss gas supply issues. In 2017 a new Security of Gas Supply Regulation was introduced, which:

  • requires the European Network for Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) to perform an EU-wide gas supply and infrastructure disruption simulation in order to provide a high level overview of the major supply risks for the EU
  • requires EU countries to cooperate with each other in regional groups to assess common supply risks together (common Risk Assessments) and to develop and agree on joint preventive and emergency measures  (to be reflected in their Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans)
  • introduces the solidarity principle: EU countries must help each other to always guarantee gas supply to the most vulnerable consumers even in severe gas crisis situations
  • improves transparency: natural gas companies must officially notify to their national authority their major long-term supply contracts that may be relevant to security of supply (if the contract exceeds 28 % of the annual gas consumption in the Member State)   
  • ensures that decisions on whether pipelines should have permanent bi-directional capacity (reverse flow) take into consideration the views of all EU countries that could potentially benefit.

Each country must appoint a Competent Authority responsible for the implementation of the Regulation.

Competent Authorities

List of Competent authorities

Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans from Member States

EU countries must adopt and update every four years a Preventive Action Plan with measures needed to remove or mitigate the gas supply risks identified in their national and common (regional) Risk Assessments. They must also adopt an Emergency Plan with measures to remove or mitigate the impact of a gas supply disruption. These Plans must be public and include (as of 2019) regional chapters with the cross-border measures agreed by countries to address common risks. The Commission assesses the Plans and recommends amendments if necessary.

EU-wide simulation of disruption scenarios

By 1 November 2017 ENTSOG is required to carry out an EU-wide simulation of disruption scenarios. The scenarios and the methodology have been defined by ENTSOG in cooperation with the Gas Coordination Group.

Reverse flows

Transmission system operators must enable permanent bi-directional capacity on all cross-border interconnections between EU countries unless an exemption is granted.

Support material

Implementation Roadmap for the new Security of Gas Supply Regulation

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), ENTSOG, the Energy Community, and representatives of industry and consumer associations.

Rules of procedure for the Gas Coordination Group

Meeting schedule and agendas

2018

  • 20 February 2018 (tbc)
  • 7 June 2018 (tbc)
  • 12 September 2018 (tbc)
  • 6 December 2018 (tbc)

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

 2012

Share this page