On February 1, the German natural gas storage facilities were 78.6 percent full, almost twice as full as required by the Energy Industry Act on this date.

This emerged on Thursday from preliminary data from the European gas storage association GIE.

The published value indicates the level at 6 a.m. on February 1st.

The law obliges the gas storage operators to ensure that a filling level of at least 40 percent is reached in each facility by February 1st.

The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, said: "We have far exceeded the statutory filling level target.

This is a great joint achievement by everyone who uses gas sparingly.” A gas shortage this winter has become unlikely.

"But we now have the task of refilling the storage facilities in the summer for the next winter without Russian pipeline gas." The new terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) would help here.

"It is still important that we use gas sparingly."

The filling levels in Germany have been falling overall since January 9th.

Before that, data had been stored for more than two weeks - which is not typical for the time of year.

Across the EU, the filling level was 72.1 percent on Wednesday morning, 0.5 percentage points less than the previous day.

The storage facilities compensate for fluctuations in gas consumption and thus form a buffer system for the market.

The filling levels usually decrease after the start of the heating period in autumn.

On the morning of November 14, a fill level of 100 percent was recorded.

It should be noted that gas continues to flow permanently through pipeline imports to Germany, according to the Federal Network Agency on Tuesday from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Germany now also receives natural gas via LNG terminals on German coasts.