STORAG ETZEL: More than 45 years of oil and gas storage at Etzel

More than 45 years STORAG ETZEL has built, operated and leased storage caverns, initially only for crude oil and later also for gas.

In 1971 STORAG ETZEL, which was a public enterprise under the name IVG at that time, was commissioned to build the underground storage facility at Etzel for a capacity of 10 million tonnes of crude oil as a national stockpile and to operate the aboveground facilities on behalf of the Federal Government.

Following privatization in 1993, IVG acquired ownership of the cavern complex in 2005. In 2016, the long-established company was renamed STORAG ETZEL and became largely independent.

Today STORAG ETZEL is the largest independent provider of underground cavern storage for oil and gas in Germany.

Our story of success


1971: IVG becomes a trustee for the German government

Construction of the surface facilities in Etzel and long-distance pipelines to Wilhelmshaven

Start of drilling operations for 33 oil caverns for longterm storage  


First oil crisis and Sunday driving ban

Second oil crisis


Ceremonial commissioning of the cavern facility and start of the brine operation for 33 caverns in the leach & fill-process


First oil filling


End of leaching; 33 caverns with geometric volumina between 100.000 und 580.000 m³ are built; oil capacity around 12 million m³


Completion of oil filling process with 8.5 million m³

First oil storage contract with the German national petroleum stockpiling agency (EBV)


Contract with Statoil for storage of natural gas in Etzel for the first time to ensure security of supply in Central Europe


Conversion of oil caverns to gas operation

Fall of the Berlin Wall


Commissioning of the first gas storage facility: The Etzel Gas-Lager; construction of the Emden-Etzel Pipeline and initial filling of eight caverns with gas

Privatization of IVG


Connection of the Etzel Gas-Lager facility to the North Sea pipelines Europipe I and the NETRA supply network

Other Western European stockpiling agencies enter into lease agreements: Building of additional oil caverns


Discharge and sale of the German federal crude oil reserve followed by a corresponding increase of volume in stock by EBV


Site status 1998: 31 oil caverns, 9 gas caverns (560 million m³ of working gas)


Acquisition of the Etzel cavern facility from the German government in 2005

Expansion of the EGL to include 10 conversion caverns (1.3 billion m³ of working gas)


Start of planning of further expansion of the cavern site; introduction of the Bunde-Etzel Pipeline

Demand for gas storage grows sharply due to EU-wide liberalisation of the gas market; development of Etzel from crude oil storage facility to one of the largest gas storage locations


Launch of the cavern funds


Oil stockpiling for institutions from Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium; over 10 million m3 of oil put into long-term storage

Opening of the Etzel cavern visitor center and foundation of the Cavern Advisory Council in 2010


Complex status in 40th anniversary year 2011: 52 caverns (23 for oil, 29 for gas)

Energy turnaround in Germany towards renewable energies


Commissioning of three new gas operating facilities (EKB, FSG Crystal, ESE) and the Bunde-Etzel Pipeline in 2011/12; gas held in storage in Etzel by companies from Germany, Western Europe and Russia

Gradual handover of the first new caverns to the tenants and initial filling with gas; construction of the new administration building in 2013

Launch of the program for the long-term safeguarding of the existing pipelines in the southern field


Actively operating IVG Caverns up until June 2016, the subsidiary of former IVG became largely Independent under the name STORAG ETZEL on 1 July 2016


10th anniversary of cavern expansion project one year after change of company name to STORAG ETZEL and relocation of the company headquarter to Etzel in 2016

Commissioning of the last of the 34 new caverns; expansion for the time being

About 13,000 visitors to the information center since its official opening; 20th session of the Cavern Advisory Council

Cavern inventory status 2017: 75 caverns (24 for oil, 51 for gas)


25 years Etzel Gas-Lager facility


In the period from 2015 to 2020, STORAG ETZEL is investing a total of around 100 million euros in plant and operational security

More than 15.000 visitors in the info box of the cavern information center Etzel

STORAG ETZEL submits the application documents for the new optional framework for the 99 approved caverns