EU Court restricts Gazprom's rights regarding OPAL
The head of the Polish Ministry of Energy noted that the new decision “terminates Gazprom’s monopoly in Europe.”
The EU court has sided with Warsaw in its dispute with Gazprom over the Opal pipe, the Polish Ministry of Energy said on Twitter. “The court overturned the EC’s decision, giving the Russian concern the right to use the gas pipeline to 100%,” the report reads.
The court’s press service said the previous ruling violated the principle of energy solidarity.
The head of the Polish Ministry of Energy, Krzysztof Tchuzhevsky, noted that the new decision “terminates Gazprom’s monopoly in Europe” and “is of great importance in the prospect of the approaching end of the contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.”
The Polish state company PGNIG, in turn, said that the new conditions will help increase gas transit through Ukraine by at least 12.5 billion cubic meters per year.
Due to regulatory restrictions, Opal, which receives gas from Nord Stream in Germany, has not been fully loaded for a long time.
In October 2016, the European Commission approved the expansion of Gazprom’s access to the pipe. The exclusive right of the Russian holding to use 50% of Opal's transit capacities (12.8 billion cubic meters) remains in force. In addition, the EC allowed Gazprom to participate in auctions for another 40% of Opal's transit capacities (about 10.2 billion cubic meters).
In response, Warsaw filed a complaint with the European Court, stating that the decision adopted by the EC contradicts the principle of diversification of supplies and poses a threat of disruption or termination.