Before natural gas reaches the consumer, it can be stored in mostly underground gas storage facilities. In Germany, gas is primarily injected into storage during the summer months when consumption is low due to warmer weather. This way it can be ensured that there are no supply bottlenecks even in unexpectedly long and cold winters or if there are other unforeseeable events. However, traders also use the storage facilities to hedge their transactions and for arbitrage purposes.
Gas storage facilities in Germany
With currently 25 storage operators and 47 gas storage facilities, Germany ranks behind the USA, Russia and Ukraine in the list of major storage nations. German storage operators can store around 24 billion cubic meters of gas, which corresponds to storage around 234 TWh of capacity. Gas storage in underground cavities is made possible by favourable geological conditions in various rock formations. The gas is stored in artificial caverns leached into salt domes or in porous rock storage facilities, while former gas and oil reservoirs are also used as natural storage facilities. Apart from underground storage sites, there are also smaller above-ground facilities.