EC Postpones Decision on OPAL Gas Pipeline

World | March 10, 2014, Monday // 18:51
Bulgaria: EC Postpones Decision on OPAL Gas Pipeline Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Commission has postponed the decision on increasing Gazprom's access to the OPAL gas pipeline, which can be fed by the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

The press secretary of EU Energy Commissioner G?nther Oettinger, as cited by ITAR-TASS, explained that additional technical clarificationswere necessary, adding that the EC reaffirmed its commitment to a swift clarification of the remaining issues.

The EC had pledged earlier to wrap up discussions on the OPAL matter by March 10, according to reports of ITAR-TASS, as cited by

Under the EU's Third Energy Package, Gazprom is under obligation to provide up to 50% of OPAL's capacity to independent suppliers.

However, the only supplier of the gas pipeline with an annual capacity of 36 billion cubic meters is the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

In order to avoid huge financial losses, Russia and Germany have asked the EC to grant the OPAL gas pipeline an exemption from Third Energy Package rules.

Nord Stream is held by Gazprom (51%), German companies Wintershall and E.ON Ruhgas (15.5% each) and Dutch Gasunie and French GDF SUEZ with 9% each.

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Tags: European Commission, Third Energy Package, gas pipeleine, Nord Stream, opal gas pipeline, Gazprom, EU Energy Commissioner, Gunther Oettinger

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