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Energy ministers of the Pentalateral Energy Forum strengthen coordination on natural gas storage

30-03-2022 1149


The Energy ministers of the so-called Pentalateral Energy Forum (comprising the Benelux and France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) signed a political declaration to strengthen their coordination on natural gas storage. With the current geopolitical situation, they do this to ensure the security of gas supply for European citizens and companies during coming winters, to alleviate the high energy bills and to promote the smooth functioning of the European energy market. 

„The Pentalateral Energy Forum has a record of being a frontrunner in making energy cooperation happen over the borders”, underlines Claude Turmes, Minister for Energy of Luxemburg and current Chairman of the Pentalateral Energy Forum. “In the current tense geopolitical situation, gas storages are very important assets to foster not only the well-functioning of the European gas market but also the security of gas supply. We are collaborating closely regarding suitable frameworks to make use of these gas storages both effectively and efficiently.” 

Within the recent proposals of the European Commission on gas storage, the seven Energy ministers emphasize that they stand together, coordinating their activities in a regional context to address possible differences between countries in terms of national legislation, capacity, storage, and gas consumption. 

To comply with these European storage obligations, the ministers believe it important to continue to make cross-border use of storage facilities, including in and from European third countries. Countries with limited or no storage capacity should actively encourage their national gas companies to make use of storage capacity in other countries. In the political declaration the signatories stress that storage obligations must be market friendly and compatible with the European internal energy market. Also, the cost of this should be shared fairly between countries. 

In addition to cooperation and coordination on gas storage obligations, the Pentalateral Energy Forum countries will intensify their work at national, regional and EU level to accelerate the deployment of energy savings and renewable energy sources, especially regarding the REPowerEU plan to be shortly presented by the European Commission. 

Pentalateral Energy Forum

The Benelux countries, together with Germany and France, established the Pentalateral Energy Forum in 2005. Since 2011, Austria and Switzerland have also joined. It is a partnership between governments, regulators, network operators and market players. The competent energy ministers meet on a regular basis. The Benelux provides the secretariat. Together, Penta develops initiatives to complete the European single energy market

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