European Parliament Approves Gas Security Regulation

The European Parliament approved September 12 the new security of gas supply regulation.

Its aim is to prevent potential gas supply crises and it applies the solidarity principle for the first time, whereby countries will supply gas to neighbours who are short, although at a time of plentiful LNG and pipeline gas, and infrastructure construction especially in eastern Europe, this could be termed a high impact, low probability event.

The European Commission said the regulation ensures "a regionally co-ordinated, common approach to security of supply measures among EU member states. This places the EU in a better position to prepare for and manage gas shortages if a crisis occurs. The solidarity principle will apply. Member States will have to help their neighbours out in the event of a serious crisis so that European households do not stay in the cold. Securing energy supplies to European consumers is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union, a key priority of the Juncker Commission."

European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said that "solidarity, closer regional co-operation and greater transparency of gas contracts were at the heart of our strategy. Therefore, I welcome today's vote by the European Parliament." 

Aside from the solidarity principle, there is to be closer regional co-operation to assess common security of supply risks and develop joint preventive and emergency measures. Natural gas companies will also have to notify long-term contracts that are relevant for security of supply (28% of the annual gas demand in a member state – an increasingly vague concept in much of Europe, as hub trading replaces borders.   

Following endorsement by both co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the EU, the revised Security of Gas Supply Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enters into force 20 days after publication.

The original proposal by the Commission was published February 16 2016 and sought to update an earlier related EU 2010 regulation.


William Powell


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