The Bulgarian gas storage in Chiren is 90% filled with gas more than two months earlier than the deadline set by the EU to secure stocks for the winter.

Data published on the platform of the non-governmental organization Gas Infrastructure Europe on Friday showed that the target was reached on August 16, at the same time as the EU average of 90% occupancy was reached.

The association, which monitors the amount of natural gas in the gas reservoirs of 22 European countries that have such, reported that according to data received as of August 16, the reservoirs were filled to 90.12% on average, and the Bulgarian one – “Chiren”, to 90.06%.

So far, only 6 European countries continue to pump gas to reach the minimum – Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, France, Latvia and Romania. All others exceeded the 90% target, with Spain’s tanks at 99.98% full.

At the moment, all European countries continue to inject gas into their storage facilities, except for Sweden, which has stopped at 95.29%.

The European Commission obliged the member states to ensure at least 90% in the underground storages before November 1, in order to guarantee themselves gas in the winter.

The regulation for this was adopted last May as part of measures to increase the EU’s energy independence from Russian fuel supplies, after Gazprom terminated the contracts of several countries, including Bulgaria, and the damage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline practically reduced the share of Russian imports below 10%.

Last year, EU countries had to secure reserves of at least 80% of their underground gas storage capacity, which was achieved on August 30 – two weeks later than this year.

At the time, Bulgaria was significantly behind the average levels of gas reserves in Europe, having managed to reach the target of 80% on 12 October.

After that, the Bulgarian authorities repeatedly justified the increase in the price of natural gas because of the expensive fuel they had to buy in order to meet the European standard.