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The Commission's vision for LNG, storage and security: Complete the marketPublished: 2 of June, 2016

In February of this year, following a four month consultation period in 2015, the European Commission released a package of communications that include a concrete proposal for the revision of security of supply Regulation 994 and the outline of a strategy for LNG and storage. Together they are aimed at improving natural gas security of supply and competitiveness with the reinforcement of regional solidarity and integration. The term strategy is somewhat misleading with respect to the LNG and storage communications, as the Commission provides more of a suggestive assessment highlighting challenges and potential. Similar to its outlook on security of supply, it prescribes market-based solutions that are dependent on the full implementation of the Third Energy Package. In Central and Southeast Europe (CSEE) the Commission must oversee more market development for these solutions to be feasible, particularly with respect to infrastructure. Here it defers to processes underway, the Central and South-Eastern Gas Connectivity (CESEC) initiative identifying critical projects that are supported with the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and cross-border cost allocation (CBCA) overseen by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Meanwhile, the security of supply revision seeks to institutionalize shared emergency planning and response measures. As logical as the Commission’s observations and intentions are regarding the improvement of security of supply, the recommendations are quite ambitious and unlikely to be implemented as currently envisioned.