The composition of natural gas varies from one gas field to another. As a result gas with different qualities is used in the EU. Quality standards are important for the safe and secure delivery and use of gas.
In an integrated energy market, suppliers from one country risk having their gas rejected by transmission system operators in another because it is not the right quality. Moreover, different gas compositions may have consequences for the safe operation of domestic and industrial appliances.
The EU is working to harmonise the quality of gas in Europe to fix this. Its work is done in cooperation with the European Association for the Streamlining of Energy Exchange (EASEE-gas).
Mandates for harmonisation
The European Commission has issued a mandate to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) to draw up harmonised standards for gas quality in the EU. This mandate consists of two major tasks:
- analysing the effects of changes in gas quality on consumer appliances such as stoves and boilers which fall under the Gas Appliance Directive. This work is led by a consortium called GasQual, managed by CEN.
- analysing the costs and benefits of gas quality harmonisation on the whole supply chain from producer to final consumer. This work was done by GL Noble Denton and Pöyry Management Consulting.
To help the harmonisation process, the European Commission runs workshops where it seeks input from companies and other organisations in the gas supply chain.