Article 6c — Storage arrangements and burden-sharing mechanism
- A Member State without underground gas storage facilities shall ensure that market participants within that Member State have in place arrangements with underground storage system operators or other market participants in Member States with underground gas storage facilities. Those arrangements shall provide for the use, by 1 November, of storage volumes corresponding to at least 15 % of the average annual gas consumption over the preceding five years of the Member State without underground gas storage facilities. However, where cross-border transmission capacity or other technical limitations prevent a Member State without underground gas storage facilities from fully using 15 % of those storage volumes, that Member State shall store only those volumes that are technically possible.
In the event that technical limitations do not allow a Member State to comply with the obligation laid down in the first subparagraph, and that Member State has in place an obligation to store other fuels to replace gas, the obligation laid down in the first subparagraph may exceptionally be met by an equivalent obligation to store fuels other than gas. The technical limitations and the equivalence of the measure shall be demonstrated by the Member State concerned.
- By way of derogation from paragraph 1, a Member State without underground gas storage facilities may develop a burden-sharing mechanism with one or more Member States with underground gas storage facilities (burden-sharing mechanism).
The burden-sharing mechanism shall be based on the relevant data from the latest risk assessment pursuant to Article 7 and shall take into account all of the following parameters:
- the cost of financial support for meeting the filling target, exclusive of the costs of meeting any strategic storage obligations;
- the gas volumes needed to meet the demand of protected customers in accordance with Article 6(1);
- any technical limitations, including the available underground storage capacity, technical cross-border transmission capacity and withdrawal rates.
Member States shall notify the burden-sharing mechanism to the Commission by 2 September 2022. In the absence of an agreement on a burden sharing mechanism by that date, Member States without underground gas storage facilities shall demonstrate that they comply with paragraph 1 and shall notify the Commission accordingly.
- As a transitional measure, Member States without underground gas storage facilities, but which have underground gas storage facilities included in the last list of projects of common interest referred to in Regulation (EU) 2022/869 of the European Parliament and of the Council(1) may partially comply with paragraph 1 by counting LNG stocks in existing floating storage units, until their underground gas storage facilities are in operation.
- Member States without underground gas storage facilities may provide incentives or financial compensation to market participants or transmission system operators, as relevant, for the shortfall in revenues, or for costs incurred by them, as a result of their compliance with their storage obligations pursuant to this Article, where such a shortfall or such costs cannot be covered by revenue, in order to ensure compliance with their obligation to store gas in other Member States pursuant to paragraph 1 or the implementation of the burden-sharing mechanism. If the incentive or financial compensation is financed through a levy, that levy shall not be applied to cross-border interconnection points.
- Notwithstanding paragraph 1, where a Member State has underground gas storage facilities located on its territory and the aggregated capacity of those facilities is larger than the annual gas consumption of that Member State, the Member States without underground gas storage facilities that have access to those facilities shall either:
- ensure that by 1 November storage volumes correspond at least to the average usage of the storage capacity over the preceding five years, determined, inter alia, by taking into account the flows during withdrawal season over the preceding five years from the Member States where the storage facilities are located; or
- demonstrate that storage capacity equivalent to the volume covered by the obligation under point (a) has been booked.
If the Member State without underground gas storage facilities can demonstrate that storage capacity equivalent to the volume covered by the obligation under point (a) of the first subparagraph has been booked, paragraph 1 shall apply.
The obligation under this paragraph shall be limited to 15 % of the average annual gas consumption over the preceding five years in the Member State concerned.
- Unless otherwise specified in Annex Ib, in the case of underground gas storage facilities located in one Member State that are not covered by paragraph 5 but that are directly connected to the market area of another Member State, that other Member State shall ensure that by 1 November storage volumes correspond to at least the average of the storage capacity booked at the relevant cross-border point over the preceding five years.