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Gazprom unaware of OPAL capacities' sale as of Tuesday

July 15, 2014, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The OPAL, whose capacity is 36 billion cubic meters, is plugged into Russia’s Nord Stream undersea export pipeline and stretches along Germany’s eastern border
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© EPA/FILIP SINGER

MOSCOW, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian gas giant Gazprom has not received any notices OPAL gas pipeline capacities auction, a company representative told PRIME on Tuesday.

“As of today Gazprom received no notices on holding an auction on the OPAL. Gazprom is unaware of the possible participation of other companies in the auction,” the representative said.

Earlier, a source familiar with the matter told PRIME that the decision on the pipeline’s status can be made by Tuesday’s evening. The capacity auction should also be held on Tuesday.

The OPAL, whose capacity is 36 billion cubic meters, is plugged into Russia’s Nord Stream undersea export pipeline and stretches along Germany’s eastern border. Under the E.U.’s third energy package, Gazprom is limited to use only 50% of its capacities.

But the only filler of the OPAL pipeline is the Nord Stream, and to avoid financial losses Russia and Germany urged the European Commission to strip OPAL from the third energy package legislation. The commission decided to hold an auction on the remaining 50% of the pipeline’s capacities to take the OPAL out of the package by imposing a so-called partial regulation.

On June 16, Mario Mehren, head of the Russian department of Wintershall, an oil and natural gas subsidiary of German chemical giant BASF, told PRIME that the European Commission will decide OPAL’s status by July 14.

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