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IP/10/1151

Brussels, 21 September

EU strengthens rules on security of gas supply for citizens

The European Commission welcomed today's adoption of the Security of Gas Supply Regulation by the European Parliament. The new legislation will strengthen the coordination between Member States and ensure that effective action will be taken in advance to prevent and mitigate the consequences of gas supply disruptions.

Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: “This regulation is a major step forward to ensure that every household has gas even in the event of gas supply disruptions."

The new regulation calls Member States and gas companies to be fully prepared in case of supply disruption, through clear and effective emergency plans involving all stakeholders and incorporating fully the EU dimension of any significant disruption in the spirit of solidarity.

Member States, together with gas companies, are encouraged to coordinate their preventive actions and emergency plans at regional and European levels. as companies have to invest in the necessary infrastructure and ensure bidirectional flows where needed to secure supplies to all customers and in any case to private households in case of disruption They have to be able to deliver gas for at least 30 days of average demand as well as in the case of an infrastructure disruption under normal winter conditions.

The Regulation should be formally adopted in the first half of October by the Council and shall enter into force before the end of the year.

Background

The January 2009 gas crisis showed that a more coordinated approach is needed at European level to provide stable and secure energy supply to European citizens. The crisis also showed the vital role of gas storages and bidirectional flows as short-term crisis response.

Most Member States already started a risk assessment and put in place infrastructure needed for security of gas supply. Through the European Energy Programme for Recovery cross border infrastructures have benefitted EU co-financing amounting to with €1.4 billion.

Further information:

Commission webpage on security of gas supply

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/security/gas/gas_en.htm

Commission webpage on energy infrastructures

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/eepr/index_en.htm

Commission webpage on the third internal energy market package

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/gas_electricity/third_legislative_package_en.htm


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