Germany has very little domestic oil and natural gas production and relies heavily on imports. It has well diversified and flexible oil and natural gas supply infrastructure, which consists of crude, product and gas pipelines and crude and oil product import terminals. Natural gas is imported into Germany exclusively by cross-border pipeline. The country has no LNG infrastructure, although some German companies have booked capacities in overseas LNG terminals.
Oil continues to be the main source of energy in Germany although it has declined markedly since the early 1970s. It now represents approximately 32% of Germany’s total primary energy supply (TPES).
Natural gas consumption in Germany has declined 10% since 2006. Demand was 90 bcm in 2010, down from 100 bcm in 2005. According to government commissioned analysis, the total consumption of natural gas in Germany is expected to continue to decline over the long term. The share of natural gas in Germany’s TPES is currently around 22%.
German oil stock levels are generally well above the required 90-days. Total oil stock levels in Germany were equivalent to 140 days net imports in April 2012.
Since 1998, the German oil stockholding agency (EBV) has been solely responsible for meeting Germany's 90-day stockholding obligation. The Oil Stockholding Act stipulates that the EBV shall constantly maintain stocks of oil and petroleum products at a level equivalent to or above 90 days of net imports. There is no minimum stockholding obligation on industry, so industry held commercial stocks are held in addition to the EBV stocks.
There are several legal tools available to German authorities for natural gas emergency response. These include Ordinances that can be used to restrict the sale, purchase or use of goods, both in terms of quantity and time, or permit them only for certain priority purposes, to ensure that vital energy needs are met.
There are no compulsory natural gas storage requirements in Germany, and no state-owned storage facilities. Operators of gas storage facilities must grant other companies access to their storage facilities and auxiliary services at a fair market price. There are 47 gas storage facilities in Germany, with a total capacity 20.9 bcm. German firms also have access to natural gas storage in Haidach (Austria) which has a capacity of 2.6 bcm.