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Austria on track to hit gas storage target - minister

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Austrian Energy Minister Gewessler addresses a news conference in Vienna
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Austria is on track to reach its target of topping up its natural gas storage to 80% of capacity by the start of the winter heating season, Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler told broadcaster ORF on Monday.

She was speaking after Russia's Gazprom said gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany would drop to just 20% of capacity.

"I have to assume that this was a political announcement. For Austria, this means that we are on course to achieve our storage target. If that changes, we will of course take measures, but we see that Nord Stream 1 is not the central supply route for us. This is different from Germany," she said, noting one storage facility run by OMV had already reached the 80% target.

Even when Nord Stream 1 was fully shut down for maintenance Austria was able to keep topping up storage using non-Russian gas and supplies from Russia via Ukraine, she said.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Chris Reese)

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