EU Leaders have Agreed on the Joint Gas Purchase

The leaders of the EU member states have agreed on a joint purchase of natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and hydrogen for the coming winter.

Gas prices have risen to record highs since Russia invaded Ukraine. EU countries have decided to abandon Russian gas, which will most likely bring new suppliers into imports, including Qatar and the United States. According to a statement from the summit, leaders will develop new measures to protect consumers from explosive gas prices and consider ways to potentially “optimize” the functioning of energy markets.

Last year the European Commission offered a system to EU countries to jointly provide strategic gas supplies. A strategy similar to the buffer against potential delays in supply has been demanded by a number of countries, including Spain. Fears of a supply cut have grown much since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Russia provides 40% of its gas to the European Union. EU governments have already spent billions on tax breaks and subsidies to protect consumers from rising natural gas prices.

According to Brussels, the organization will help countries jointly buy gas this year. Rules for the new system are expected to be published this week. According to the existing decision, up to 90% of the gas supply will be restocked annually. The storage capacity of the EU is currently 26%.