As part of our gas transport and storage activities, we have to meet certain public service obligations in accordance with the legislation governing businesses operating in the gas sector.
Article L 121-32 of the Energy Code sets out those obligations. Under those, Teréga has a particular duty to guarantee:
the safety of persons and installations upstream of the end consumer’s connection,
continuity of the natural gas supply,
security of supply,
the quality and price of the products and services provided,
protection of the environment, particularly the application of energy saving measures,
the use of biogas,
balanced regional development,
acting as a natural gas supplier of last resort to non-domestic customers providing services in the general interest.
In order to continue the process of liberalising the market, on 13 July 2009 the European Union adopted a set of measures relating to the internal energy market (electricity and natural gas), known as the “3rd energy package”.
It brings together the following regulations relating to gas and Teréga’s activities:
The legislation dealing with energy, including the provisions for the transposition of the 3rd energy package into French law, were grouped together in the Energy Code. The legislative part of that code came into force on 1st June 2011. The regulatory part, created by Decree No. 2015-1823 of 30 December 2015, came into force on 1st January 2016.
Framework for the gas storage activity
Third-party access to underground natural gas storage facilities in France is governed by the Energy Code, modified by Article 12 of Law No. 2017-1839 of 30 December 2017.
The current legislative framework is based on the following principles:
the underground natural gas storage infrastructures needed for security of supply are provided by the Long Term Energy Schedule.
operators of those essential infrastructures have an obligation to maintain them in operational condition and offer third parties access to those installations under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions,
storage capacities of those essential infrastructures are traded in public auctions, the arrangements for which are set by the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE),
the CRE regulates operators of those essential infrastructures, by determining the revenue which will allow them to cover all the costs they bear arising from the operation of those essential infrastructures,
should the revenue from public auctions not allow the costs borne by operators of those essential infrastructures to be covered, then that cover is provided by the tariff for the use of those natural gas transport grids.
In accordance with its legal obligations, Teréga publishes access arrangements to its storage capacities on its customer portal. They include:
available storage capacities,
traded storage products,
the schedule for storage capacity trading,
public auction arrangements in place.
Information about capacity subscriptions is sent to the Directorate General for Energy and Climate and the CRE, authorities that ensure transparency and non-discrimination in third-party access conditions to underground natural gas storage facilities.
Certain installations at Lussagnet and Izaute are classified as Classified Installations for the Protection of the Environment (ICPE) due to the substances present and the activities undertaken there. This is particularly applicable to installations containing natural gas, whether on the surface or underground.
ICPEs are governed by the Environmental Code and particularly by Book V: “Prevention of pollution, risk and nuisance”, in the 1st section.
Underground installations are also subject to the Mining Code, with the exclusion of provisions relating to mining work (section VI) and administrative surveillance and the mining police (section VII), for which the Environmental Code now applies. The Lussagnet and Izaute concession rights are covered by the Mining Code; drilling and exploitation operations are covered by the Environmental Code.
Prefectural Orders specify the technical instructions applicable to installations.
The Lussagnet and Izaute sites are “SEVESO high threshold” classified establishments due to the quantities of natural gas stored there. A Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) is defined and a Safety Management System (SMS) is in place.
The underground natural gas storage facilities are part of the systems for which Technological Risk Prevention Plans (TRPP) drawn up by the prefects are in place.
The objective of those plans is to control risks around so-called “SEVESO high threshold” sites by reducing the risks arising from installations and the implementation of urban planning control measures.
The TRPP sets out an urban planning strategy to suit the local situation, considering the risks presented by the industrial installation, after the implementation of reduction measures at source. It may define areas in which the following may be imposed:
land use measures applicable to the most exposed existing urbanised areas (right to non-development for example),
stipulations on the construction of existing and future buildings, such as the installation of blast-resistant glazing;
restrictions on future urban development (restrictions on use etc.).
The Lussagnet and Izaute TRPPs were approved by Prefectural Order on 8 April 2013 and 25 December 2014, and are currently in the process of implementation.
The storage technical instructions inform you about the particular requirements with which the technical design and operation of third-party pipelines and systems must comply for connection to the Teréga natural gas storage centre.