: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Naftogaz files suit with CJEU over ruling on Gazprom`s enhanced access to OPAL


The national oil and gas holding Naftogaz of Ukraine has lodged a suit with the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) seeking cancellation of the European Commission`s decision on expanded access of Russia`s gas monopoly Gazprom to the OPAL gas pipeline, delivering gas from Nord Stream pipeline to the Central European markets, according to Naftogaz press service.

”On March 27, Naftogaz of Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice against the European Commission with a demand to revoke its decision of October 28, 2016, allowing Gazprom to significantly increase the use of the OPAL gas pipeline capacity and the volume of gas pumped via Nord Stream,” the report said.

According to Naftogaz, the adoption of this decision by the EC without consulting with Ukraine violates Article 274 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, as well as the EU obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty and the Energy Community Treaty.

Naftogaz argues that the decision was taken beyond the authority of the European Commission. In addition, it contradicts EU Directive 2009/73 and does not contribute to increasing competition. However, it creates threats to the security of gas supplies to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, as well as the effective functioning of the internal market of the EU and the Energy Community, as it strengthens the dominance of Gazprom and related companies, the press service said.

Earlier, the European Commission`s decision to grant Gazprom access to an additional 30% of the OPAL pipeline capacity (with the existing access to 50%), allowing uniting the Nord Stream capacity with the gas transportation system in Central and Western Europe, bypassing Ukraine, will lead to financial losses to Ukraine, as one of the key gas transit states, totaling no less than $290-320 million per year, while transit volumes will drop by 10-11 billion cubic meters of gas per year, according to Naftogaz.

This decision was appealed at the European Court of Justice by the Polish oil and gas company PGNiG. According to PGNiG, the court suspended the decision on Gazprom`s access to the OPAL gas pipeline on December 27, 2016.

February 28, 2017, Naftogaz appealed to the European Court of Justice requesting that they join the lawsuit filed by PGNiG.

Memo. Germany`s OPAL gas pipeline built in 2011 is a land stretch of the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline, which delivers gas from Russia to the EU. The total length of the gas pipeline is 470 km, with a capacity of 36.5 bcm per year.

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