The routine summer practice of filling Europe’s natural gas tanks has become a battle after Russia cut deliveries by more than half.
Germany’s largest storage chamber for natural gas stretches underneath a swath of farmland the size of nine soccer fields in the western part of the country. The bucolic area has become a kind of battlefield in Europe’s effort to defend itself against a looming gas crisis driven by Russia.
Since last month, the German government has been rapidly pumping fuel into the vast underground site in Rehden, hoping to fill it in time for the winter, when demand for gas surges to heat homes and businesses.
The scene is being repeated at storage facilities across the continent, in a jousting over energy between Europe and Russia that has been escalating since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
In the latest sign that Moscow appears intent on punishing Europe for sanctions and