Poland: EU court cancels Gazprom’s access to 100% of OPAL
WARSAW, Sep 10 (PRIME) -- The E.U. Court of Justice has made a decision cancelling Russian gas giant Gazprom’s access to 100% of the OPAL natural gas pipeline’s capacities, Poland’s Ministry of Energy said on Tuesday on its Twitter page.
“The E.U. court made a decision favorable to Poland on the case of Gazprom using the OPAL pipeline. The court cancelled the decision of the European Commission that allowed the Russian company to use 100% of the pipeline,” the ministry said.
In a separate statement, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said that the new decision destroys Gazprom’s monopoly in Europe and that it is important in light of the upcoming expiration of the company’s gas transit contract with Ukraine. Gazprom will have to reduce exploitation of the Nord Stream pipeline, which will make it unlikely for the company to reject the transit through Ukraine, he said.
Under the third energy package, Gazprom has access to half of the OPAL capacities, or to 12.8 billion cubic meters. The European Commission decided in October 2016 that Gazprom will retain its right to use half of the pipeline’s capacity and will be given admission to auctions for another 40%. Poland’s PGNiG challenged the decision in December of the year saying it is a threat to safety of gas supplies to the E.U.