Estonia’s natural gas reserves are three-layered and in the event of supply failures, they will be put into use gradually when each previous reserve layer is exhausted.
- All Estonian gas merchants have commercial gas stocks and supply channels to service the contracts concluded with their customers. If the commercial stocks of the gas merchant are not sufficient to serve the customers, they will first try to buy more gas from the market. The decision regarding the purchase and sale of commercial gas supplies will be made by gas merchants.
- The strategic gas reserve held by the ESPA is used as a supportive measure to alleviate supply failures when it is not possible for market participants to acquire gas through conventional supply chains and commercial reserves are running out. The exact procedure for the use of the strategic gas reserve will be established by a regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure. The decision to deploy the strategic gas reserve will be made by the Government of the Republic or by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.
- In addition to the national strategic gas reserve formed by the ESPA, the Estonian gas market system manager AS Elering has a reserve to ensure gas for protected consumer groups (households and gas-fuelled district heating boiler houses). The gas reserve held by AS Elering will be put into use after the commercial reserves of companies and the state’s strategic gas reserve held by the ESPA have been exhausted. The decision to deploy the protected consumer reserve will be made by AS Elering and its exact principles are laid down in the Natural Gas Act.